Behold the first issue of The Grammar Chronicle (view and download a high-resolution version here).
What is The Grammar Chronicle? It is a new series of one-page “newsletters” written in a newsy style and (hopefully) presenting grammar issues in a fun, memorable way.
So what is Quigley Quote going on about in this first issue?
Periods and Commas with Quotes: Inside or Outside?
When periods and commas are beside each other at the end of a line of dialog or quoted text, they appear inside the quote marks. For example:
More and more, periods and commas are showing up outside of quote marks, mostly on the Internet (though it is spreading to print materials, as well). In fact, some people even “correct” others on forums who put commas and periods inside the quotes.
Some readers may not even believe this article because they have seen the wrong usage so many times that certainly it is correct to put periods and commas outside of quotes.
It isn’t—at least not in American English.
In the UK, it is done differently; there, commas and periods go outside the quotation marks.
Other punctuation may or may not go inside quote marks, depending on the structure of the sentence…but we won’t go into that just yet. That’s another topic for another post.
For now, just remember the words of Quigley Quote:
Check out these other sites on the topic:
- From Purdue University: “Additional Punctuation Rules When Using Quotation Marks”
- From GrammarBook.com: “Quotation Marks“
Grammar Guide Time!
Wondering why The Grammar Chronicle is italicized at the beginning of this post? In most cases, names of either larger works or full works containing smaller pieces are italicized; this may not be true if you are using a style guide that says otherwise, but this is the widely accepted practice.
Articles within such a publication are generally mentioned within quotation marks.
Check out more of the “Grammar Guide.”