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stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!! : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

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shevas
 

stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby shevas » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:13 am


shevas
 

stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby shevas » Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:13 am

My head is spinning with quotation rules right now and I can never seem to find the exact answer for my particular sentences!

1) Is this one right? It doesnt't look right to me.

"Did you hear him say, 'I'm not doing that!'?"

2) is it acceptable here to use quotes even though its obviously not an exact quote? and is the comma in the right place?

He pushed her away and thanked her for "letting him come with her," then
sauntered back to his room.

3) for several paragraphs of dialogue from one person, is it right that the quote mark gets left off the end of each p. except the last?

gracie
 

RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby gracie » Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:33 pm

Sort of, maybe, and yes.

1) Sort of: Your punctuation is technically in the right place, however, it's cluttered with all the... erm.. punctuation. You might try leaving off the quotes and writing the [I'm not doing that] part in italics for emphasis. It would be better to rephrase it though, since it's not an exact quote: "Did you hear him say he wasn't doing that?"

2) Maybe: It depends on the context. If Sue says "But he said he wouldn't do it!" and Jerry challenges her with "How do you know? Did you actually hear him say 'I'm not doing that!'?" then yes, you can use quotes even if it's not an exact quote. And I think you could throw the comma away entirely. But commas are my weak point. I, use, too, many, myself.


3)Yep. The comma is left off the end of the paragraph when one person is nattering on for several paragraphs, but it does need to be at the beginning of each subsequent paragraph.

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Georganna
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RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby Georganna » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:06 pm

Define "right", please.

It all depends on which style manual or guide you're following, and that depends on what kind of writing you're doing and for whom.

Good luck!


Curious
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RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby Curious » Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:16 pm


shevas
 

RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby shevas » Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:02 am

Thanks guys, I know my library has a copy of CMS, so I'll just borrow it for now. (No money for book)

Clare, I just realized that I also have single quotes inside double that end the paragraph. I'm guessing the single quote would still need to close the paragraph then the double starts the new one, but I'll check on that. Yeesh!!

Curious
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RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby Curious » Fri Feb 03, 2006 9:21 am

Closing the single quotes depends on whether the person who's talking is done quoting at the end of the paragraph. In the case of my person, who was reading a multi-paragraph story, he wasn't...so BOTH sets of quotes stayed open:

“ ‘When the full moon came, the King’s Wife held her friend’s son, and she kissed him and cried over him. She said that here would be no cruel elf King who would bring torment to a human girl, and she named the baby Ash, which means "unique," or "alone."

“ ‘The King’s Wife ceased to eat from the night of her delivery. The people lamented, and the advisors were angry because the King would not save his wife. But the elf King himself was pleased because he had never cared for the sight of her. She died two nights after the naming of Lord Ash, and only the elf King did not mourn her passing.’ ”

I challenged the copyeditor's hasty decision to close the single quotes but not the double quotes. She sided with me once she'd thought it over, and the managing editor sided with both of us. So they stayed open till the last paragraph.

And get a load of those double quotes around the word definitions! I hadn't done that (I had italics), but their style manual dictated it. It's a quotation mark orgy!

Clare

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Georganna
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RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby Georganna » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:23 am

The most basic style manual remains good ol' Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Fortunately for those with computers and little extra funds, it is available online at Bartlby's.

Good luck!


gracie
 

RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby gracie » Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:47 am


Sheri
 

RE: stupid quote marks questions - aacckk!!

Postby Sheri » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:49 pm

My advice is only my advice. I am not an editor in any shape or form and would never claim to be. But...

Have you ever thought of just rewording? I have mistakenly spent way too much time in the past on one single line. I've found that it is easier, and even sounds better, if I stop dwelling on the way I first wrote it or if it is puncuated properly, and just write like I know how to.

When the time comes, your editor will help you straighten it all out.

It never hurts a writer to become more educated in such matters but in the mean time...don't dwell to the point of allowing it to interfere with your writing in such a way.

I hope you don't find that ugly. I personally relate to your question and was only drawing from my own personal experience.

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