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  1. #1
    frogboxer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Further clarification if you can, please

    Sorry for asking again, but the concept I'm failing to grasp is how to punctuate the ending - per British style - of the following sentence. It appears as though there are multiple ways to do it 'the British way'. In America, there are hard-and-fast rules regarding quotation marks. Let me know what the 'true' British way is in regard to the ending punctuation in the two sentences below. I tend to lean toward the second (full stop inside the ending quote marks because these are Henry's exact words - or are they?) Is it a paraphrase of what Henry said and not his 'exact' words?
    Is this why the sentence is punctuated as it is in sentence number one (".')?

    (1) Then she said, 'I did it because Henry said, "I don't care what you do".'

    (2) Then she said, 'I did it because Henry said, "I don't care what you do."'

    Is it true that spoken dialogue (not written) is the only time we place the full stop inside the ending quote marks per British style?

    Example:
    Drag0nspeaker said: "Don't dangle your participles, misplace your modifiers or split your infinitives."

    But:

    Drag0nspeaker speaker said: "I heard Lou say, 'Don't dangle your participles, misplace your modifiers or split your infinitives'."

    If a single quote mark starts a sentence, the sentence (by logic) ends with a single quote mark. Ditto for double quote marks.

    ' ............' or "..........."

    Not: ' ..............'. or "................".'.

    'The Guardian' and the 'BBC' don't do it like that. It's crazy and confusing - almost appearing as algebraic.

    The sentence read 'Be good to yourself and may God bless'.
    (Full stop outside because this is not an actual vocal utterance made by a human being.) The same, obviously, would apply to the 'written' contents of a book, sign, email, sentence, proverb, etc.

    I like the old proverb 'Waste not, want not". (Full stop outside
    because of the previously outlined reason.)

    There's no definitive ruling on the use of British quotation marks - it appears to be quite arbitrary, in fact. One British expert will do it one way; another will do it entirely differently. It more or less appears as though people 'do what they want' in terms of the quotation marks, as long as they're consistent within a written work. I guess it's a matter of following your own set of unique rules and adhering to them - consistency being the prerequisite.


    Do you agree with my thoughts on this?

    Thanks
    Last edited by frogboxer; 23-Feb-2013 at 02:33.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Further clarification if you can, please

    "Is it true that spoken dialogue (not written) is the only time we place the full stop inside the ending quote marks per British style?"
    I'm curious, how do you place a full stop in spoken English?

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