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    #1

    Punctuation

    How should the colon and punct be used in this sentence below? Are they correct?

    Should the punct be inside the quote or the colon a comma instead? Also, should the first word in the quote be capitalized?

    The new motto was: "Don't be afraid to take risks".

    Thank you for the help!

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    #2

    Re: Punctuation

    [AmE - not a treacher]

    Personally, I'd not use both a colon and quotes. I would do either:

    The new motto was: Don't be afraid to take risks.
    or
    The new motto was, "Don't be afraid to take risks." (which I think is AmE only)

    BTW, I don't know what "punct" means; I think you mean "period".

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Punctuation

    I agree with Bob that you don't need both. However, if you use the colon, don't use "was."

    The new motto: Don't be afraid to take risks.

    In American style, the period always always, depsite any logic, goes inside the quotation marks.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In American style, the period always always, despite any logic, goes inside the quotation marks.
    It's the same in BrE.

    'The only emperor,' writes Wallace Stevens, 'is the emperor of ice cream.'

    Look closely [...]
    . And note something [...] that is very strange: the first comma in the last example comes inside the quote, even though it is not part of the quotation. This makes no sense, and it contradicts the usual principles of punctuation, but for some reason this illogical syle has become almost universal in English.


    Trask, R L (1997.95) The Penguin Guide to Punctuation. London: Penguin

    Trask might also have added that the sentence 'X,' writes Wallace Stevens ,'X.' has no full stop (period) of its own. I flatly refuse to follow this convention. I would write that sentence as: 'The only emperor', writes Wallace Stevens, 'is the emperor of ice cream'. This does not seem to bother most people, though my punctuation has been 'corrected' when my writing has appeared in print.

    As far as the colon is concerned, Trask later writes ( p97):

    You should not insert additional punctuation marks into the sentence merely to warn the reader that a quotation is coming up: that's what the quotation marks are for. Here are some common mistakes:

    President Nixon declared: 'I am not a crook.'

    The colon in [this] is completely pointless.


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    #5

    Re: Punctuation

    Thanks, so I'm now left wondering about if the quote is only for one or two words? For example,

    The negotiator acted in accordance with the company's principle of "be cost-aware".

    or

    The negotiator acted in accordance with the company's principle of "risk-minimization".

    Should the period still be inside the quote?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Punctuation

    No, in my opinion. You have selected words; you are not saying he said "X."

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