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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    Thanks again, tdol.
    I'm also happier with the punctuation outside because the quote does not control the grammar of the sentence. However, American English speakers usually put the periods or commas inside the quotation marks. It seems to me that BrE is more logical than American English (AmE?).

  2. #12
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    I've come across many Americans in forums who think the British system is better, but rules are rules. BrE may be more logical here, but not always. I think American spelling makes more sense, but use British spelling.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    Thank you, tdol, again.
    I completely agree with you when you say that rules are rules, BrE may be more logical here, but not always, and that American spelling makes more sense. Rules are different in each language. Some day the time may come when Japanese style of English is recognized as one of the correct English, I think.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    From a teaching prospective -->

    If you think about it, the American rules make more sense. Ask yourself a question, "am I putting a comma because the quote ended, or am I putting the comma because the sentence calls for it." If you were to put a comma after the quote, you would be confusing the reader, especially those who didn't know the rule, into possibly thinking all quotes end with a comma or a pause.

    I think the emphasis on the quotation marks, being secondary to the sentence, makes sense, because the quotations are just used to clarify instances and not to change sentence structure.

  5. #15
    renolane is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    The convention of placing the period is derived from the legacy of hot lead typesetting. From Wikipedia:

    The traditional convention in American English is for commas and periods to be included inside the quotation marks, regardless of whether they are part of the quoted sentence, while the British style places them in or outside of the quotation marks according to whether or not the punctuation is part of the quoted phrase. The American rule is derived from typesetting while the British rule is grammatical (see below for more explanation). Although the terms American style and British style are used, it is not as clear cut as that because at least one major British newspaper prefers typesetters' quotation (punctuation inside) and BBC News uses both styles, while scientific and technical publications, even in the U.S., almost universally use logical quotation (punctuation outside unless part of the source material), due to its precision.

    More at: Quotation mark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    As with many such differences, the American rule follows an older British standard. Before the advent of mechanical type, the order of quotation marks with periods and commas was not given much consideration. The printing press required that the easily damaged smallest pieces of type for the comma and period be protected behind the more robust quotation marks.[9] The typesetter’s rule was standard in early 19th century Britain, and the U.S. style still adheres to this older tradition both in everyday use and in non-technical formal writing. The grammatical rule was advocated by the extremely influential book The King’s English, by Fowler and Fowler.

  6. #16
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Why is a comma or a period before a quatation mark?

    Interesting, but a little late since this discussion is now three years ago

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