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    #1

    To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    Looking at the responses made by native speakers (teachers) here, I am questioning what I learned at school and the styles of professional writers.
    Here are examples which typically represent them. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

    1A: In our teen years, we prioritize being "one of the gang."
    1B: In our teen years, we prioritize being "one of the gang".

    2A: They feel that they are "somebody," but others don't.
    2B: They feel that they are "somebody", but others don't.

    3A: Courtesy means saying "Thank you," but "Thank you" merely scratches the surface of genuine courtesy.
    3B: Courtesy means saying "Thank you", but "Thank you" merely scratches the surface of genuine courtesy.
    3C: Courtesy means saying "Thank you." but "Thank you." merely scratches the surface of genuine courtesy.

    4A: The implications are "Your are always late" or "I am upset that you are not on time."
    4B: The implications are "Your are always late." or "I am upset that you are not on time."
    4C: The implications are "Your are always late" or "I am upset that you are not on time".

    5A: Fillers such as "You know," "Right?", or "Ah" should be used sparingly.
    5B: Fillers such as "You know", "Right?", or "Ah" should be used sparingly.
    5C: Fillers such as "You know," "Right?," or "Ah" should be used sparingly.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    When it comes to words or phrases that you are discussing, I would not enclose the following punctuation in the quotation marks. You are marking them, not quoting them.

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    #3

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    1A, 2A, 3A, 4B (correcting to "you are always late"), 5C

    The American convention is to include punctuation inside of the quotation marks. The only time this is confusing is if you are asking a question that ends with a quotation that is not a question, or vice versa.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    I gave up on the American convention years ago.

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    #5

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post

    4A: The implications are "You are always late" or "I am upset that you are not on time."
    4B: The implications are "You are always late." or "I am upset that you are not on time."
    4C: The implications are "You are always late" or "I am upset that you are not on time".
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    I have been reading American English for more than half a century, so I am pretty sure that the "correct" choice is
    4A.

    The only authority that I have found so far says this: "A period should be omitted at the end of the sentence that is included within another sentence unless the included sentence is the final element." (THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE)

    Therefore, I would not use 4B.

    I have made up this sentence to show how "weird looking" a period makes the sentence:

    When someone is nice to you, you can say "Thank you very much." or "I appreciated your help."

    Now look how clean it looks without the period: When someone is nice to you, you can say "Thank you very much" or "I appreciated your help very much."

    (P.S. I agree that logically speaking, a period might seem necessary after the first quoted sentence, but logic does not always rule punctuation rules.)

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    #6

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I gave up on the American convention years ago.
    I do think the flexibility we have in British English on this makes sense.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    The American system was developed because printers had trouble with pieces breaking in a printing press. Those days are long gone and we should embrace the flexibility of the British system.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: To enclose or not to enclose ... that is a question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    we should embrace the flexibility of the British system.
    That would be fine if there were a single universally recognised British system.

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