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  1. #1
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    As awkward as it may look, which version below is technically correct in terms of punctuation when using the possessive form of a movie or show enclosed in quotation marks? One of them must be correct with the quote marks. Just please choose what you consider to be the closest, best fit. I'm looking at this from the perspective that italics are not allowed and the examples below are actual utterances. Please select one or two that is workable in each set. Thank you in advance for your help. (The words enclosed in quotes are TV programs here in America.)

    Set 1
    • “30 Rock” ’s precision zinger machine...
    • “Community” ’s showrunner, Dan Harmon...

    Set 2
    • '30 Rock' ’s precision zinger machine...
    • 'Community' ’s showrunner, Dan Harmon...

    Set 3
    • '30 Rock'’s precision zinger machine...
    • 'Community'’s showrunner, Dan Harmon...

    Set 4
    • "Gone With the Wind" ’s director was proud of his cast.
    • "Gone With the Wind"’s director was proud of his cast.
    • 'Gone With the Wind'’s director was proud of his cast.
    • 'Gone With the Wind' ’s director was proud of his cast.
    Last edited by frogboxer; 20-Feb-2013 at 02:22.

  2. #2
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    I'm persistent and went to the library down the street. "Merriam Webster's Standard American Style Manual" shows this example:

    the "Today Show"'s cohosts
    the "Grand Dame's" escort


    Conversely, I'm guessing we can do this with the first example above in single quote marks. Which do you prefer below - 1 or 2? Do both work in your opinion?


    1. the 'Today Show''s cohosts
    2. the 'Today Show' 's cohosts

  3. #3
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    After considerable cogitation, here's my proposal to address this punctuation conundrum. Do you concur?

    Place the title ['Today Show'] in single or double straight quotes ( ' or " ) before and after the two words.


    To denote possession of the already quoted title, place a curly single quote mark ( ’ ) directly following the ending single or double straight quote mark (no space) following the title.

    This differentiates the 'straight' quote mark(s) [enclosing the title] from the possessive 'curly' quote mark(s) (apostrophe[s]) to clearly indicate the necessary possession. Aesthetically, it's much better on the readers' eyes.

    Here's my proposal:

    • the 'Today Show'’s cohosts

    -or-
    • the "Today Show"’s cohosts
    Last edited by frogboxer; 20-Feb-2013 at 04:10.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    For the benefit of any ESL students who might be struggling to follow all this, it has to be said that though people do say that, the conundrum of how to write it is solved by changing it to 'The cohosts of "The Today Show"'.

    I'm moving this thread to the General Language Discussions forum, where those interested can pursue it to their hearts' content.

    Rover



  5. #5
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    If a quote starts with a single marker, shouldn't it end with one?

    ... changing it to 'The cohosts of "The Today Show".'

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    Out of curiosity, what's the aim of all this? Aesthetically, none of them are as appealing as the use of italics, so this seems a bit retrograde to me. However, if forced, the one I would use is the "Grand Dame's" escort. I can see the idea of using the curly one, but that suggests a keyboard, where there are other ways of doing it, but how would you do it in writing?

  7. #7
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "30 Rock" 's precision zinger

    I am abundantly aware of what looks awkward, what doesn't, etc. All I wanted was confirmation from an expert that my alternative was a possible workaround, that's all. This topic was an ongoing, heated debate at work, and I informed staff that my option was a viable solution. I am a proofreader/editor and have been studying grammar and punctuation for 30+ years. Obviously, I'm shifting gears and am trying to understand British punctuation. Thanks for answering and saying that you see my idea behind this.

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