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New punctuation question

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Post entry removed, as it's unrelated to the resulting discussion.

docholladay
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

I know I don't have the education or skills needed for writing or editing. The exclamation point inside the quotes stresses the action so additional punctuation might not be needed since it would probably reduce the stress effect.

But like I said I lack many of the needed skills to give a better answer. Just my opinion off the top of my head.

edited to correct one error.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

CW,

This exact type of question came up on the blog by Beth Hill - The Editor's Blog - about a year ago, and she advised how you have it in the quote is perfect.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Myself, I would reformat so the dialog is at the end.

Leza rushed forward waving her hands. "NO!"

or

Leza rushed forward waving her hands and screamed, "No!"

Replies:   G Younger  shinerdrinker
G Younger

@Dominions Son

Leza rushed forward waving her hands. "NO!"

or

Leza rushed forward waving her hands and screamed, "No!"


I like this better. As a reader it is easier to follow.

Ross at Play

My tuppence worth is to be correct you must have a comma after 'screamed'.
My understanding is that quotations must be separated from narratives on BOTH sides.
The exclamation point already acts as an adequate separator at the end, but you need another at the start.
***
I actually dislike the look of applying this "rule". It does seem excessive to me that some punctuation mark (to act as a separator) is mandatory on both sides of even a one-word quotation.
If anyone can find any reputable source which suggests otherwise, I would be very interested in seeing it.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Leza screamed "No!" rushing forward and waving her hands.


Leza screamed, "No!" rushing forward and waving her hands.

I don't think a comma after the quotation mark.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
shinerdrinker
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Leza rushed forward waving her hands. "NO!"

or

Leza rushed forward waving her hands and screamed, "No!"


I'd have to go with the second example here. It's like I was writing it myself as I scrolled down and there it was. Maybe even capitalizing the full word "NO!"

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Leza screamed, "No!" rushing forward and waving her hands.


concur, I missed that missing comma in the original.

Zom
Updated:

You might consider:
Leza screamed, "No!" as she rushed forward waving her hands.
I think the 'Leza screamed' start has a better impact than the rushing and waving does.
And there is its close cousin:
"No!" Leza screamed, as she rushed forward waving her hands.

REP

Without the context and as worded and punctuated, the sentence's intent is not clear. It could be rewritten as:

1) Leza screamed, "No!", before rushing forward and waving her hands.

2) Leza screamed, "No!", while rushing forward and waving her hands.

3) Leza screamed, "No!", after rushing forward and waving her hands.

Ernest Bywater

you could always consider:

While she rushed forward waving her arms Leza screamed, "No!"

Switch Blayde
Updated:


However, I'm getting the impression everyone prefers the more generic:

"She rushed forward, waving her hands. "NO!"


Not everyone. It's hard to do when one sentence is plucked from a scene.

I would guess from what you said, her screaming "No!" is what's critical and will have the impact. The body movements are secondary and actually occur after she screams (she screams when she sees him point the gun and then tries to draw attention away from the guy he's about to shoot). So I would write it as:

"No!" Leza screamed. She rushed forward, waving her hands.


or

"No!" Leza screamed. She rushed towards him waving her hands.


or even

"No!" Leza screamed.

She rushed towards him waving her hands.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

The body movements are secondary and actually occur after she screams


The impression I got from the original is that it was supposed to be simultaneous. She was rushing, waving and screaming all at once.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

Alright, if we consider just the sentence as written:

1) Add a comma after screamed.

2) If 'rushing forward and waving her hands, can be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence, add a comma after "No!". Otherwise, no comma after "No!".

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

apparently "waving her arms" is an Americanism

I don't know about it being an Americanism. Waving her hands indicates only her hands were in motion. Waving her arms indicates both of her arms, including hands, were in motion.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I don't know about it being an Americanism. Waving her hands indicates only her hands were in motion. Waving her arms indicates both of her arms, including hands, were in motion.

That was my understanding (as an American), though there's an Aussie contingent (one editor, one forum member) who contend waving you arms just means to flap your arms up and down without moving your hands. (???) If that's the case, I've never seen anyone wave their arms other than once or twice during drunken wedding parties.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

The impression I got from the original is that it was supposed to be simultaneous. She was rushing, waving and screaming all at once.


That's why I said it's hard to pluck a sentence from a scene and say what the best version is. It depends so much on what came before and what comes after.

I imagined the woman seeing the man point the gun. Her first reaction would be to yell "No!" Then she might run at him waving her arms to draw his attention to her.

When running towards him, she might yell or not. If she yells, she might yell, "No, no, no!" or "Here. I'm here." or something else.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

without moving your hands. (???)

I suppose someone doing a pull up would be moving their arms without moving their hands. :)

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@REP


Waving her hands indicates only her hands were in motion. Waving her arms indicates both of her arms, including hands, were in motion.


If the sentence said Waving her hands I'd expect the arms to be still while the hand is in motion, kind of like how Queen Elizabeth waves to people when driving by in a car at a public appearance.

If the sentence said Waving her arms I'd expect a full arm action like the way the kid in the Home Alone movies waves his arms in the air when he runs around screaming.

edit to add further examples:

Waving a hand - standing beside a car and using the hand alone to signal the driver to keep reversing the car, then turn the hand to the stop sign when they reach the spot. The arms are basically still with only the hand moving.

Waving the arm - the flight deck guys directing aircraft on carriers when they wave one arm down and in the direction they want the plane to go. This is a full arm motion.

Hand and arm together is - a traffic cop has one hand up in the stop position while using the other arm to point at a driver and motion them into a position in the intersection.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

CW,

The "No!" can fit at the front, the tail, or the middle of the sentence, as you wish. If in the middle or the tail it needs a comma before it. If at the front it needs no further punctuation around it.

On a side issue, I think the use of the word while shows are more simultaneous and immediate action than the word as does. But that's a personal thing, both are grammatically acceptable.

Replies:   Zom
garymrssn

Hands and arms waving, Leza ran forward screaming,"NO!".

docholladay

Probably the safest method would be to write it. Then read it as a reader to check it for the desired reaction. Different reader reactions can be obtained that way, although people are different with different reactions.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

No argument there EB.

I was just responding to one of CW's earlier posts about waving arms to be an Americanism that many would not understand.

Ross at Play
Updated:


apparently "waving her arms" is an Americanism


It is British English too.

The Oxford Dictionary entry for wave starts its section on examples with a heading "wave hand/arm".
They gave one example 'The man in the water was waving his arms frantically'.

Ross at Play

@REP

Alright, if we consider just the sentence as written:
1) Add a comma after screamed.
2) If 'rushing forward and waving her hands, can be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence, add a comma after "No!". Otherwise, no comma after "No!".

I can see the logic behind your second point. I think you're saying decisions about separators used between dialogue on narratives should be based on the sentence fragments required for the context of the sentence.
I have never seen (or never noticed) any reference stating a comma after "No!" is allowed. Clearly, exclamation points and question marks may replace the comma inside an end quote mark, but your point is a writer is entitled to separate what follows into another sentence fragment by adding a comma after the end quote.
I would appreciate it if you can quote any reference stating that is permitted.
***
I found something in CMOS which appears to follow the same logic as what you suggested, but for the reverse situation.
It did state that a comma (or colon, etc.) is mandatory before the open quote when it is being introduced with something like 'She said/screamed'.
However, it said a comma should not be used before an open quote after expressions like 'said that'. In those types of situations the quoted words belong in the same sentence fragment - because they are needed to complete the main idea of the sentence.

Ross at Play

I noticed this in CMOS:
In an alternative system, sometimes called British style (as described in The Oxford Style Manual; see bibliog. 1.1), single quotation marks are used, and only those punctuation points that appeared in the original material should be included within the quotation marks; all others follow the closing quotation marks. (Exceptions to the rule are widespread: periods, for example, are routinely placed inside any quotation that begins with a capital letter and forms a grammatically complete sentence.)
***
Just when I thought I was out (I finally knew punctuation) ... they pull me back in ...
***
Can anyone describe what differences there are between British and American punctuation, or know a suitable on-line reference?
***
I also noticed something in my Oxford dictionary. It states that if a 'he said' or similar is included inside a quotation, the comma before that comes after the end quote, i.e. "That", he said, "is how it should be."
Does anyone know if that is just an example of the British style, or should it be done for American English as well?

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Does anyone know if that is just an example of the British style,


Yes, British, not American.

The period and comma in American go inside the quotation mark; in British it's outside.

I think the exception in American is when it's a single letter, such as, I got an "A".

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Does anyone know if that is just an example of the British style, or should it be done for American English as well?


Ross,

Since we're talking about fiction writing, that convention you mention isn't very relevant, because it says (with my added bold):

Quote

single quotation marks are used, and only those punctuation points that appeared in the original material should be included within the quotation marks;

end quote

This is clearly about quote someone else's written text. That won't happen often in fiction.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Zom

@Ernest Bywater

while shows are more simultaneous and immediate action

Perhaps not EB. Doing A while doing B can mean that the doing of B occurs before and/or after the doing of A. I sneezed while the orchestra played does not mean a very long sneeze or a very short piece :-)

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

This is clearly about quote someone else's written text.

NO IT IS NOT !!!
***
It is VERY CLEARLY about DIALOGUE.
This is the damn sentence ... "That", he said, "is how it should be."
The Oxford Dictionary clearly states both commas should be outside the quote marks for dialogue like this.
I'm wondering if that is just a British thing.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


If the sentence said Waving her hands I'd expect the arms to be still while the hand is in motion, kind of like how Queen Elizabeth waves to people when driving by in a car at a public appearance.


I think it's more culturally based than that. In America, we wave frantically for all kinds of things: football games, waving to friends, waving in plains. I suspect Australians are a bit more reserved, not wanting to focus too much attention to themselves, they reserve outward signs to the 'barely registered' by anyone but those who're looking for them. In that case, they wouldn't recognize 'waving her arms' as involving the hands, as it's a foreign concept.

@Ernest

The "No!" can fit at the front, the tail, or the middle of the sentence, as you wish. If in the middle or the tail it needs a comma before it. If at the front it needs no further punctuation around it.


Yes, the "No!" can technically go anywhere, though the use of the comma is restricted not by it's placement in the sentence, but by the preceding exclamation mark. English doesn't allow multiple punctuation symbols, so the comma can't follow a period or a question or exclamation mark, regardless of whether it's required to make sense of the remained of the sentence.

@Ross at Play

I also noticed something in my Oxford dictionary. It states that if a 'he said' or similar is included inside a quotation, the comma before that comes after the end quote, i.e. "That", he said, "is how it should be."

Does anyone know if that is just an example of the British style, or should it be done for American English as well?


I've often followed the 'if the punctuation belongs in the quoted speech, keep it there, if it's needed for the rest of the sentence, then put it there (after the quote). However, I've often stood alone in that decision, as it's not popular among this crowd.

However, the vast majority of English references insist that ANY quote followed by an attribute contain a comma, despite the comma not being a part of the quote. Based on that, I doubt you could argue for the 'it's not part of the quoted material' argument (i.e. it's a British thing).

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

This is the damn sentence ... "That", he said, "is how it should be."


I thought in British punctuation the ending period would be OUTSIDE the quotation mark.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

The Oxford Dictionary definitely states both commas outside quote marks in that sentence.
The Oxford University Style Guide states the comma before the attribution goes inside the quote mark – but they also say DO NOT use Oxford Commas.
WTF ???
***
I dislike a lot of things in American English, but for punctuation they are a lot more logical and consistent than the British.
***
To SB - I'll recheck that and report back tomorrow.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

It is VERY CLEARLY about DIALOGUE.


Based on what you quoted in the earlier post this statement is wrong and it has nothing to do with dialogue. Here's what you said was from CMoS

quote

In an alternative system, sometimes called British style (as described in The Oxford Style Manual; see bibliog. 1.1), single quotation marks are used, and only those punctuation points that appeared in the original material should be included within the quotation marks; all others follow the closing quotation marks. (Exceptions to the rule are widespread: periods, for example, are routinely placed inside any quotation that begins with a capital letter and forms a grammatically complete sentence.)

end quote

two points:

1. In this the word dialogue does not appear at all.

2. It clearly states to punctuation points that appeared in the original material should be included within the quotation marks showing it's quoting an existing external source, not a new source the dialogue in fiction is.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

Looking more like one of those situations where there will be no satisfying everyone. Regardless of which form is used. Someone will be unhappy. Another case of damned if you do, and damned if you don't. So just use the form which best suits your style of writing.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Based on what you quoted in the earlier post this statement is wrong and it has nothing to do with dialogue. Here's what you said was from CMoS

Ernest, you are the ONLY person here who continues to insist that every style guide on the planet Earth distinguishes between dialogue and "quoted material", despite the lack of acknowledgement of that point by the style guides themselves. Clearly, "quoted material" includes fictional dialogue. You're arguments only amount to nit-picking over non-existent details.

@docholladay

Looking more like one of those situations where there will be no satisfying everyone. Regardless of which form is used. Someone will be unhappy. Another case of damned if you do, and damned if you don't. So just use the form which best suits your style of writing.

I'm not sure whether you're referring to Ross's 'English style' question or an earlier point, but the English style of formatting is clearly a little used alternative style, rather than a mainstream usage, even within British publications.

Again, it's not a universal guideline, but only limits those hoping to publish via a specific publisher. For those that do pursue that route, they'd likely assign an editor to ensure the formatting meets their demands, rather than expecting authors to catch every single instance.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Clearly, "quoted material" includes fictional dialogue.


No style guide or dictionary I've ever seen has stated quoting original material and fictional dialogue is the same.

In the current text under discussion I'm simply stating what it already says using the standard dictionary definitions of the words used. Quoted material talks about the punctuation marks in the original material is obviously about something that already exists, not new text.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

I'm not sure whether you're referring to Ross's 'English style' question or an earlier point, but the English style of formatting is clearly a little used alternative style, rather than a mainstream usage, even within British publications.


I am mainly referring to the fact that there are so many options and opinions as to the best way to punctuate the sentence. At least as have been mentioned under the current topic.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest, you are the ONLY person here who continues to insist that every style guide on the planet Earth distinguishes between dialogue and "quoted material", despite the lack of acknowledgement of that point by the style guides themselves.


Up to now I've largely stayed out of this. All of the existing style guides are written for either news reporting or academic writing. None of them, not one, addresses fiction and dialog as anything other than an afterthought.

The fact that Earnest has been the lone voice crying out in the wilderness does not mean that he is wrong.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

No style guide or dictionary I've ever seen has stated quoting original material and fictional dialogue is the same.

Duh! If they're viewed as one and the same, why would they?

In the current text under discussion I'm simply stating what it already says using the standard dictionary definitions of the words used.

My definition of 'nit-picking' results. You ignore the opinions of everyone in the industry, and instead focus on the words used in a dictionary definition. You're not convincing anyone, you're only reassuring yourself that you're right.

I agree that there's a difference, and style guides should differentiate the difference, but the lack of specific rules about dialogue doesn't imply that there are NO rules concerning dialogue!

@Docholladay

I am mainly referring to the fact that there are so many options and opinions as to the best way to punctuate the sentence. At least as have been mentioned under the current topic.

That was my impression. It was a mistake asking for opinions, like assholes, everyone has their own. What's more, I'm putting a lot of weight on the order of the sentence, as it's a pivotal element in the book, but when everyone asks for more context, I can't without tossing in story spoilers, thus reducing the entire discussion to uninformed conjecture about the story, rather than what's the proper way to format something. Frankly, what happens first and second, or how someone else would structure the sentence is besides the point, as I was asking about mixing exclamation points and commas!

@D.S.

The fact that Earnest has been the lone voice crying out in the wilderness does not mean that he is wrong.

No, it doesn't. As I've acknowledged, the lack of discussion on fictional dialogue is alarming, given how much of the industry it comprises, but being the lone voice crying out about an unproven point doesn't make him right either. My point wasn't that he didn't have a point, only that nit-picking objections doesn't negate the central claim: that the rules for quoted material applies equally to dialogue as it does to non-fiction, academic works.

His arguments convinced me, but I can't see how it changes how I use the commonly accepted conventions concerning dialogue usages.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

It was a mistake asking for opinions, like assholes, everyone has their own.


Not really, it has brought out the fact that there are no existing standards for fiction. It led to a debate of which methods are the right ones. Who knows maybe even I can learn something.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

but being the lone voice crying out about an unproven point doesn't make him right either.


No, it doesn't. However, in my opinion, he has the far better argument on the merits. Almost all of the opposition on this and other threads amounts to little more than argument from authority or argument from consensus, both of which are logical fallacies.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

amounts to little more than argument from authority or argument from consensus, both of which are logical fallacies.


So since the authority says a word is spelled a certain way means it's a logical fallacy and isn't proven that's the way it should be spelled? [rhetorical question]

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@docholladay

there are no existing standards for fiction.


We're talking punctuation, not fiction. It's the way quotation marks are used. There is no difference between that in a novel or an academic paper.

When you end a sentence with a question mark, you do that in both fiction dialogue and everywhere else. Nowhere does it specifically say it's done the same way. It's assumed/implied/whatever. They state the punctuation rule for question marks and it applies to all forms of writing when a question mark is used. The same is also true for quotation marks.

The argument is ridiculous.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So since the authority says a word is spelled a certain way means it's a logical fallacy and isn't proven that's the way it should be spelled? [rhetorical question]


Actually, yes, because it's common usage not authority that defines the correct spelling. Such common usage and spellings can and do change over time.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Such common usage and spellings can and do change over time.


But at any specific time, there's a right way to spell it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Not really, it has brought out the fact that there are no existing standards for fiction. It led to a debate of which methods are the right ones. Who knows maybe even I can learn something.

The disagreement wasn't really over the punctuation: most agreed you can't use both and comma and an exclamation mark. Instead, the general discussion has been over how everyone would write the sentence in their own way. That's what I was referring to as everyone's opinion, as they were basing their decision (on how to write the sentence) based upon how they envisioned my story unfolding.

@D.S.

No, it doesn't. However, in my opinion, he has the far better argument on the merits. Almost all of the opposition on this and other threads amounts to little more than argument from authority or argument from consensus, both of which are logical fallacies.

I doubt anyone here is looking for an overriding authority on the topic, as few restrict themselves to a single style guide, however, most are interested in the 'commonly accepted' view on the matter, thus they're looking for where the predominance of evidence lies, rather than a stray outlier opinion.

As I said, Ernest makes for an interesting case, but it's hardly convincing, since it doesn't negate everyone else's opinion. Most reference consider "quotes" and "dialogue" to be the exact same thing, so arguing that the rules for one don't apply to the other is a false dichotomy.

If you choose not to follow a specific guideline, that's fine. But to argue it's invalid because, using a random example, it was written in red ink (a New York banking law), doesn't negate the intent between the signators.

Ernest has yet to turn up a single source who specifically says: "this (or any) rule only applies to quotations, but not fictional dialogue".

@D.S.

Such common usage and spellings can and do change over time.

Fine. I'll grant you that. As soon as Ernest's point becomes the predominant opinion, I'll accept it. However, since he's the only one making the argument, I'll only accept it as an outlier, indicative of nothing other than a single person's opinion.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

But at any specific time, there's a right way to spell it.


True, but argument from authority lends zero weight to your claims about what the correct spelling is.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


As I said, Ernest makes for an interesting case, but it's hardly convincing, since it doesn't negate everyone else's opinion.


Perhaps, but he is actually making a reasoned argument where everyone else's opinion is predicated in one or another style guide (derived from argument from authority) as opposed to being an original opinion.

Everyone else's opinions don't negate Earnest's opinion either, yet you and Switch keep insisting that he must be wrong because he doesn't agree with you.

That in my mind gives his argument more weight.

Ernest has yet to turn up a single source who specifically says: "this (or any) rule only applies to quotations, but not fictional dialogue".


As he's not making an argument from authority, he has no obligation to do so.

And quite frankly, unless/until you can find a style guide that discusses fictional dialog directly and as a primary target of the guide (not an afterthought), citing style guides against him is not an adequate counter argument.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

yet you and Switch keep insisting that he must be wrong because he doesn't agree with you.


Nope. It's because he is wrong.

But I know when to stop.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Nope. It's because he is wrong.


No he's not, at least not until you can come up with a logically valid argument for why he's wrong.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Dominions Son


not until you can come up with a logically valid argument


Logic?

If you have a closing quotation mark, the reader will expect the next dialogue to be a new speaker. Therefore, you cannot have an ending quotation mark until the end of the last paragraph of dialogue.

Present a logical argument that invalidates my logic.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

If you have a closing quotation mark, the reader will expect the next dialogue to be a new speaker. Therefore, you cannot have an ending quotation mark until the end of the last paragraph of dialogue.


For that to be a logically valid argument, you either have to back your claims about reader expectations with empirical evidence or logically valid argument.

Present a logical argument that invalidates my logic.


Your logic is predicated on unproven and likely false assumptions about reader expectations. You do not and cannot know what readers do or do not expect.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Your logic is predicated on unproven and likely false assumptions about reader expectations. You do not and cannot know what readers do or do not expect.


The convention is to start a new paragraph when the speaker changes. I expect a reader to know that the same way I expect them to know a question mark at the end of a sentence is a question.

So my logic is not based on a false assumption.

And, btw, trying to invalidate someone's logic is not presenting a logical argument.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Duh! If they're viewed as one and the same, why would they?


Because they aren't the same, and weren't viewed as being the same until a few decades ago certain people in the USA started pushing that view.

Replies:   Zom
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


The convention is to start a new paragraph when the speaker changes. I expect a reader to know that the same way I expect them to know a question mark at the end of a sentence is a question.


Ending a question with a question mark is taught in grade school English classes. The new paragraph/new speaker convention, if it is taught at all, is not taught below the college level.

I am in my late forties, I have a bachelors degree in management information systems.

I was unaware of the new paragraph/new speaker convention before it was brought up in this forum.

Your expectation has no basis in reality.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest has yet to turn up a single source who specifically says: "this (or any) rule only applies to quotations, but not fictional dialogue".


In the other thread where we raised the dialogue issue I had a number of sources listed in some of the posts. However, I find it interesting that when I simply point out what is actual stated in the CMoS quote it's now being claimed what they said is being expanded beyond the words they say.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So my logic is not based on a false assumption.


It's not logic at all, it a bare assertion of a fact. An assertion that is in my experience false.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

True, but argument from authority lends zero weight to your claims about what the correct spelling is.

I beg to differ. In this instance, if 80% of the sources all suggest a single spelling, you can conclude that it's the most common spelling. It would still be an optional alternative, but no one here is looking to a single expect to dictate what they can and cannot do.

@D.S.

Everyone else's opinions don't negate Earnest's opinion either, yet you and Switch keep insisting that he must be wrong because he doesn't agree with you.

I've never once said that! Instead, I've only reacted when he keeps making the same point, that there's not a single source who agrees with his perspective, and thus, he's got no objective evidence it's an agreed-upon, accepted standard rather than a single stray opinion. It is a well-reasoned argument, but given the lack of support, or a change in rationale for using the currently accepted guides (i.e. that anyone agrees that quotations are significantly any different than dialogues), it doesn't change anything.

So, essentially, you're saying that Ernest's and my continued requests for supporting evidence has convinced you that Ernest is correct? You must be a favored target of political campaigns! The more people request fact-checks, the more you accept any outlandish, unsubstantiated claim someone makes.

And quite frankly, unless/until you can find a style guide that discusses fictional dialog directly and as a primary target of the guide (not an afterthought), citing style guides against him is not an adequate counter argument.

That's not the point. We're not asking for proof, we're asking for evidence that anyone, besides him, believes that the rules for dialogue is substantially any different than it is for quoted sources. That's an absurdly low threshold to cross. We're just asking if he has any basis to believe that anyone at all (anyone that's studied the various style guides and has a substantial background in publishing, that is) supports his unsubstantiated supposition.

until you can find a style guide that discusses fictional dialog directly and as a primary target of the guide (not an afterthought), citing style guides against him is not an adequate counter argument.

Lack of proof is not, in itself, proof. Otherwise, you can claim that Prince George is the rightful ruler of England, as there's no proof that he isn't! Also, Switch and I aren't arguing for "proof", only that anyone agrees there's the slightest difference in the use of quote marks in fiction and non-fiction. Again, a surprisingly low bar to cross.

No he's not, at least not until you can come up with a logically valid argument for why he's wrong.

Sorry, Switch, but I obviously don't know when to quit, because I can be just as stubborn as D.S. is when he continually insists his opinion is the only one that matters in an open forum.

We've both presented a perfectly valid argument for why he's wrong: the fact that no one considers dialogue and quoted material to be two different things. However, you've already stated that, because anyone disagrees with someone else, that proves they're correct (at least to you), there's really no point is discussing formatting, standards, accepted usages or even opinions with you. You appear to be suffering from delusions if your only bar to accepting something is true is anyone else insisting it's completely unproven.

By the way, you'll notice that Ernest himself gave up arguing the point a long time ago, and I only repeat my same argument any time that Ernest insists that the entire world is wrong because he found an irrelevant inconsistency, not in any style guide, but in a dictionary definition.

Your logic is predicated on unproven and likely false assumptions about reader expectations. You do not and cannot know what readers do or do not expect.

Your continued insistence that everyone else present empirical proof of commonly accepted standards beggars the mind. NO ONE COMPLIES SUCH STATISTICS, so asking for empirical proof is akin to demanding proof that the moon ISN'T made of green cheese. If the only proof you accept is the opposition to outright lies, then you're a bigger idiot than I previously suspected. (Note: I don't think you're an idiot, only that you're 1) misguided and 2) so sleep deprived you aren't thinking straight.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Ending a question with a question mark is taught in grade school English classes. The new paragraph/new speaker convention, if it is taught at all, is not taught below the college level.


I not only knew it before reaching high school, but I was already recognizing it in a variety of popular novels at the time (over 40 years ago).

So you're now arguing that anything taught in college is, by definition, demonstrably false?

@Ernest, we all agree that the majority of style guides are biased towards non-fiction, however, that doesn't invalidate any of their claims. We're only asking you for any evidence that there's any agreement that the rules for non-fiction quotation marks is any different than the guidelines for fictional usages.

We understand your claim, and agree that your logic is impeccable, but it's based on a false-assumption that there's some vast conspiracy to cheat fiction writers by making widespread false claims.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

We're only asking you for any evidence that there's any agreement that the rules for non-fiction quotation marks is any different than the guidelines for fictional usages.


In the long post in the other thread I gave proof of them being different, and this was especially so outside of the USA.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

In the long post in the other thread I gave proof of them being different, and this was especially so outside of the USA.

You found a discrepancy in a dictionary definition: which is already an unaffiliated source with no direct evidence to how the literary establishment thinks. However, that's not proof that it's the consensus among the worlds authors/publishers/reviewers/readers. It's an interesting point, but it doesn't change anything. If no one believes it makes any difference, it doesn't impact anything.

What's especially frustrating is that you continually insist the usage is completely invalid, despite the fact it doesn't impact you in the slightest, since you're already going out of your way to avoid using the commonly accepted standard. That's fine, I don't object to your preferred usage, but don't offer it is a golden proof that the rest of the world is wrong!

By the way, the largest component of people here objecting to the practice seem to originate in Australia, so I take that as the non-acceptance is a regional thing, rather than it's usage is a strictly American thing.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

Ending a question with a question mark is taught in grade school English classes. The new paragraph/new speaker convention, if it is taught at all, is not taught below the college level.


I have a BS and MBA and was never taught grammar at the college level.

So it has nothing to do with authoritarian sources. It has to do with what you learned in school or remember what you learned in school.

Instead of arguing against it, learn it here and embrace it the same way you embrace the ?. It's something you should have been taught.

Crumbly Writer

I'm thinking we should request that Lazeez freeze the entire topic, as no one is ever going to agree. Or, better yet, delete the entire thread, since the initial question was answered a long time ago, and the follow-up discussion didn't cast any light on the topic. :(

Thread drift is fine, but screaming at one another, demanding absolute proof while not listening to anyone else is a damn good reason to delete threads!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

So you're now arguing that anything taught in college is, by definition, demonstrably false?


No, but asserting that everyone knows something only taught at the college level is demonstrably false.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Or, better yet, delete the entire thread, since the initial question was answered a long time ago, and the follow-up discussion didn't cast any light on the topic


On the contrary, I believe people here learned something they didn't know. That made it worthwhile.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I beg to differ. In this instance, if 80% of the sources all suggest a single spelling, you can conclude that it's the most common spelling. It would still be an optional alternative, but no one here is looking to a single expect to dictate what they can and cannot do.


But that's argument from consensus not argument from authority. :)

I've never once said that! Instead, I've only reacted when he keeps making the same point, that there's not a single source who agrees with his perspective, and thus, he's got no objective evidence it's an agreed-upon, accepted standard rather than a single stray opinion.


Switch has said it, and your continually pounding on the point strongly implies it.

So, essentially, you're saying that Ernest's and my continued requests for supporting evidence has convinced you that Ernest is correct?


No, what convinces me is that you can't come up with any counter argument that isn't either argument from consensus or argument from authority.

Lack of proof is not, in itself, proof.


Quite true, but lack of supporting authority is not disproof/counter argument.

Your continued insistence that everyone else present empirical proof of commonly accepted standards beggars the mind. NO ONE COMPLIES SUCH STATISTICS, so asking for empirical proof is akin to demanding proof that the moon ISN'T made of green cheese.


1. Asserting that something is a commonly accepted standard does not make it a commonly accepted standard.

2. I did not demand empirical evidence. I asked empirical evidence or logically valid reasoned argument.

The assertion at issue is false in my personal experience, so I don't consider asking for some kind of proof unreasonable.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

2. I did not demand empirical evidence. I asked empirical evidence or logically valid reasoned argument.


I gave that to you. It's the only way to know the next paragraph is the same speaker without having another dialogue tag. You just don't want to accept it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The assertion at issue is false in my personal experience, so I don't consider asking for some kind of proof unreasonable.

That's the key, neither Switch nor I ever asked for "proof", statistical evidence, or authoritative sources. I did specify I was looking for someone knowledgeable within the publishing field, as I knew you'd suggest yourself as the single alternate source who'd back up his claim, and I wanted to circumvent that argument.

Both Switch and I have been discussing the 'consensus view' on the subject, which Ernest has been arguing is "invalid" because no one (apparently) believes that non-fiction and fiction follow the same rules. We were simply arguing it's a false claim, as nearly everyone has been arguing, since the first style guide was published, that the rules are identical for both. There are variations, such as the uses of em-dashes or ellipses in dialogue, but those don't negate the many other standards accepted across most style guides/authors/editors/publishers.

Note: By the way, I deleted my initial post, since my question was never directly addressed, other than two "You're right" votes. Instead, the thread took a sideways turn as everyone began discussing preferred writing techniques (how they'd write the sentence instead, rather than discussing the punctuation question), and the thread rapidly degraded into a shouting match from there.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

I gave that to you. It's the only way to know the next paragraph is the same speaker without having another dialogue tag. You just don't want to accept it.


I don't accept it because it is flat out untrue.

Often the context of what is being said is enough to make it clear that one paragraph of dialog is the same speaker as the prior paragraph.

I say that as a reader, not as an author.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


because no one (apparently) believes that non-fiction and fiction follow the same rules.


Nearly every author her believes that, but they believe it based on style guides that were written for news or academic writing by people who don't write fiction so they have no authority when it comes to fictional dialog.

We were simply arguing it's a false claim, as nearly everyone has been arguing, since the first style guide was published, that the rules are identical for both.


Those style guide were written by people who don't know anything about writing fiction, so what makes the style guides' claims that the rules should be the same for fictional dialog valid?

Your arguments on this point would carry more weight for me if there were style guides written by / for authors of fiction, but their aren't

I don't dispute that the standard exists, but personally, I see little point in following standards that are built on what I see as unprovable and improbable premises

At its base, the question is should the rules for news/academic quotes and fictional dialog be the same?

Earnest presents a solid well reasoned argument that the answer is no.

You and Switch say yes, but you present no real argument to support that answer.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

: By the way, I deleted my initial post, since my question was never directly addressed, other than two "You're right" votes.


I gave you an answer that a comma is required after "screamed."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Nearly every author her believes that, but they believe it based on style guides that were written for news or academic writing by people who don't write fiction so they have no authority when it comes to fictional dialog.

Those style guides were written by the publishers of fiction, and are used by the fiction publishers the world over, so arguing they "have no authority when it comes to fictional dialog" is pure hogwash. If they didn't want fiction written that way, they'd simply adopt an entirely new style guide. Instead, the largest publishers in the U.S. (at a minimum), decided there wasn't any substantial differences between the two, and the few cases where there is a difference in style, they'd corrected the original style guides.

NO style guide is written for the benefit of authors, or by authors. Instead, they're produced, used and enforced by the publishing houses. They simply won't accept any books which don't follow their own style guides, so if authors wish to be published, they either get on board or change careers (in the days before self-publishing, at least).

You and Switch say yes, but you present no real argument to support that answer.

Here's one, most readers across the globe now accept the standard, as it's been used since the 50s (I'm assuming). As I noted before, the main argument against the standard seems to be focused on Australians (for the most part). I'm guessing Australians never accepted the standards, never taught it in the schools, and now Australian authors are insisting that no one accepts the international standards.

Don't use it if you don't want to. No one is requiring you accept it. It isn't even required to publish with publishers which include it in their style guides. It's purely optional. But don't dictate to the rest of the world what are "valid" standards and which aren't, because you're talking out of your hat (and if you don't get the analogy, look it up!).

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I gave you an answer that a comma is required after "screamed."

Sorry, Switch, I misspoke. Another source seconded my own opinion, that you don't, and backed it up with a reference specifically targeted to the question. My only question was what to do when the sentence structure requires the comma. Apparently the answer (commonly accepted answer, that is) is that it doesn't matter, you don't violate the duplicate punctuation rule. That was convincing enough for me, since I wasn't requesting empirical proof!).

Zom

@Ernest Bywater

Because they aren't the same

Hear, hear!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Zom

@Ernest


Because they aren't the same

@Zom

Hear, hear!

As I said, if you don't agree with the dropped quote standard, then DON'T use it. However, don't dictate to everyone else that the accepted international standards aren't valid because of some unknown international conspiracy by non-fiction authors.

I've been reading it my entire adult life, and many years before that, so I consider it an accepted standard, simply because it IS. The fact that Australians don't accept it is a purely Regional variant.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Zom
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Those style guides


I'll say it again. This is not a style issue. It's punctuation.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

You found a discrepancy in a dictionary definition: which is already an unaffiliated source with no direct evidence to how the literary establishment thinks. However, that's not proof that it's the consensus among the worlds authors/publishers/reviewers/readers


Your second sentence is just as applicable to CMoS as a anything else in regards to world usage, but may be applicable to US usage where they so many see it as carved in stone handed down by God.

I 'm only responding to this because you said I never posted any reliable sources and the dictionary was unaffiliated. Well I did link to reliable affiliated sources in the thread linked below, where I quoted from Miriam-Webster Dictionary, The Grammarbook.com, udemy (a university site), Bristol University, St Marks publishing house, Linguapress publishing house, Grammerly.com, and Oxford university - that's 2 publishers, 3 universities, and 2 editor / writer blogs that are widely respected, and a major US dictionary site. I won't waste space here be requoting them, you can look up the other thread.

http://storiesonline.net/d/s2/t1486/feedback-not-wanted

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I read the entire discussion, and the source, when you first posted it, and I was an unconvinced then as I am now. Once again, you're parsing meaning into "quoted material" that was never intended, assuming it's a separate creature from "dialogue", which you've never yet been able to support.

However, it's clear the longer we go around in circles, the longer you'll insist the rest of the world is wrong, and every other writer is an ignorant conspirator, so I'll finally shut the frig up. This is obviously a losing battle.

I don't care what you choose to believe. You can accept that the moon is made of tapioca jello for all I care, or that Donald Trump is a financial genius for bankrupting multiple corporations in the same year, and then claiming their personal losses (which they absorbed by going out of business) were his own losses, despite his not paying a cent to their debtors. Neither effects me personally, but please, stop attacking everyone else every time we mention using a widely accepted technique you don't approve of. All you're doing is canceling our ability to discuss valid writing techniques to advance your own suppositions.

Whatever your crackpot personal theories, we're going to continue using it until someone demonstrates to us it's either invalid (with more proof than a dictionary definition unrelated to the literary advice) or is an uncommon usage. You've done neither, so I remain skeptical of your claims.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

This is the damn sentence ... "That", he said, "is how it should be."
I thought in British punctuation the ending period would be OUTSIDE the quotation mark.

As best I can tell, the "British rules" have an exception for sentence ending marks (full stop, question mark, exclamation mark) that appear at the end of a sentence - they go inside the closing quote mark
... but don't quote me! I've pretty much given up on ever figuring out what the "British style" of punctuation is.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

However, it's clear the longer we go around in circles, the longer you'll insist the rest of the world is wrong, and every other writer is an ignorant conspirator, so I'll finally shut the frig up. This is obviously a losing battle (my emphasis).

Whatever your crackpot personal theories, we're going to continue using it until someone demonstrates to us it's either invalid (with more proof than a dictionary definition unrelated to the literary advice) or is an uncommon usage. You've done neither, so I remain skeptical of your claims.

Ditto for me.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Those style guides were written by the publishers of fiction


Not true. The one you like to cite the most (CMOS) is written / published by the University of Chicago Press, a strictly Academic publisher.

Wikipedia:Style Guides

Lets look at the style guides listed for the US.

There are only 6 general purpose style guides listed for the US.

The Chicago Manual of Style, by University of Chicago Press staff. It's not just published by an Academic press, it was written by their staff. No fiction by this publisher.

Words into Type, by Marjorie E. Skillin, Robert M. Gay, et al. Published by McGraw-Hill. No fiction

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. (Commonly called "Strunk and White")

Written by a professor and published by Macmillan Publishers Another publisher specializing in education / academic publishing. From what I've read, it's pretty awful and even self contradictory.

The Careful Writer, by Theodore Bernstein. A former New York Times editor and Professor of Journalism. He's never written any published fiction.

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams. Another professor with no published fiction to his name.

Publisher: Pearson Longman . Another academic publisher

The Well-Spoken Thesaurus, by Tom Heehler

Publisher, Sourcebooks

This is the only US general style guide published by a company that also publishes fiction. As far as I can find, the author has never written any other books.

As I noted before, the main argument against the standard seems to be focused on Australians (for the most part).


I was born and raised in Wisconsin, USA. I did not learn that standard in school.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

that's 2 publishers, 3 universities, and 2 editor / writer blogs that are widely respected, and a major US dictionary site. I won't waste space here be requoting them, you can look up the other thread.

PLEASE DO WASTE SPACE HERE – THOSE SOURCES DO NOT SUPPORT YOU.
* * *
I agree all of those sources are 'respected'.
It appears to me you are assuming when they state do this when quoting written material, the same does not apply to dialogue. If that were so, those sources would have other sections describing what is done differently for dialogue.
I've looked for that on a number of those sites but found nothing.
* * *
If you can quote any of them stating this different for dialogue, I'll stop considering you a crackpot (on this issue).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

you're parsing meaning into "quoted material" that was never intended, assuming it's a separate creature from "dialogue", which you've never yet been able to support.


Except by the fact the dictionary definitions are different and even CMoS didn't have dialogue listed for many decades after it started up.

I've provided valid references, so it's not a crackpot theory. I said what I wanted to say in the other thread, and have no intention of bringing it up again, except when people make claims about me not providing support for what I say, or make invalid claims by incorporating something that isn't in the text of what they quote from elsewhere.

Going back to the CMoS quote that started this drift, in the current CMoS there are a couple of places where they mention how to handle quoted material and also mention dialogue in the same paragraph. Which shows they do not assume one includes the other, so when they mention only one they must be referring to only that one, as is the case in the paragraph quoted.I don't always agree with it, but COMoS don't assume one is in the other, so I can't understand why you do.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The fact that Australians don't accept it is a purely Regional variant.


Except it's not a standard for the UK universities and not accepted by some US editors as well. Australia seems to be a lot bigger than I thought if it takes in parts of the US and the UK.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

quote any of them stating this different for dialogue


Well, since you ask, here is the big post again. Copied from there:

Special Point: I couldn't find a single UK reference mentioning the option to drop the closing mark off the end of the intermediate paragraphs. - I admit I didn't view every single option available, especially those that said "Buy this book from the Uni Bookshop."

.................

The answers to the questions, followed by some links and quotes from the sources. Note: For this I am ignoring the quotation of another written text or the report of a human speaker, and concentrating solely on fictional speech dialogue usage.

1. No, I do not agree. There are at least 2 alternatives. First is to have someone else interject and do the usual exchange of speakers. The second is to have a break with an action or new speaker tag in the next paragraph.

2. Yes. Site then quote from it.

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/quotation-marks/1/use-of-quotation-marks/

Quotation marks are used to identify certain words as being the ones a person said. Quotation marks are used to separate the quote from the rest of the sentence or text which is not quoted. Double and single quotation marks are pretty much interchangeable; check the conventions for any specific format you might be using.

Quotation marks always come in pairs; we say the first set "opens" the quote, and the second set "closes" the quote. Make sure the quotes are opened and closed.

https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/research-and-documentation/documentation/1/types-quotes/

Long quotes

More than 40 words or so, depending on the format. Long quotes are usually written as a separate paragraph, with indented margins on both the left and the right sides. You don't need to use quotation marks because it's already physically separated from the main text.

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_22.htm

Where to put the Quoted Material.

If the quotation is short (most guides recommend three lines or fewer) you can embed the quoted material in the main body of your text. If you are quoting a specific page or paragraph of a source text, you must reference it with a page or line number.

If the quoted passage is longer, you will need to indent the quoted material.

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/University%20of%20Oxford%20Style%20Guide.pdf

Quotation marks

Use single quotation marks for direct speech or a quote, and double quotation marks for direct speech or a quote within that.

Use no quotation marks if the quote is displayed (ie not in line with the rest of the text).

http://www.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/studyskills/essentials/writing/punctuation.html

Speech marks (inverted commas)

There is no universally accepted distinction between the single form ( ' ' ) and the double ( " " ). However, grammarians tend to view the single as the norm, with the double reserved for a quotation contained within a quotation. Perhaps the best advice is to choose one or the other (single or double) and be consistent.

I agree with a few other comments that we've now covered this as fully as it is to cover. It seems the US teach to drop the closing mark from intermediate paragraphs with multi-paragraph quotations while the UK don't teach it, but teach to use the block quote.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/quotation-marks/1/use-of-quotation-marks/


This is precisely what that says, starting from the top of that webpage (except I have altered which words are in bold to make my point).

Start of Quote

How and When to Use Quotation Marks

We use quotation marks with direct quotes, with titles of certain works, to imply alternate meanings, and to write words as words.

Block quotations are not set off with quotation marks.

The quoted text is capitalized if you're quoting a complete sentence and not capitalized if you're quoting a fragment.

Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks in American English; dashes, colons, and semicolons almost always go outside the quotation marks; question marks and exclamation marks sometimes go inside, sometimes stay outside.

In American English, single quotation marks are used for quotes within quotes.

When to Use Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are for when you want to use someone else's words in your writing. Let's say you want to write about something you heard your friend say. You could do it like this:

John said, "I really hate when it's hot outside."

You can write about the same thing without using the quotation marks, with a couple of changes:

John said he hated when it was hot outside.

The first sentence contains a direct quote, a quote in which you report the exact words John used. The second sentence contains an indirect quote, which is a paraphrased version of what John said. Quotation marks are used only with direct quotes.

This rule isn't just for speech. If you're quoting a written source, you should still put the quote between quotation marks unless you plan to paraphrase it.

End of Quote

QUOTATION MARKS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME FOR BOTH SPEECH AND WRITTEN MATERIAL - according to that well respected source grammarly.com

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/media_wysiwyg/University%20of%20Oxford%20Style%20Guide.pdf

Quotation marks

Use single quotation marks for direct speech or a quote, and double quotation marks for direct speech or a quote within that.

You yourself quoted the words from the University of Oxford Style Guide that disagree with your insistence there is any different between the punctuation of direct speech and a quote of written material.
The first sentence that in that guide on quotation marks saying they are the same.
* * *
I HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID I WILL TAKE NOTE IF YOU QUOTE ANY SOURCES.
YOU JUST CONTINUE POSTING LINKS "CLAIMING" THEY PROVE YOUR POINT.
THEY DO NOT - THEY DISPROVE IT.
FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, STOP HARASSING ME WITH THIS RUBBISH UNLESS YOU HAVE ANY FUCKING ACTUAL EVIDENCE !!!

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Not true. The one you like to cite the most (CMOS) is written / published by the University of Chicago Press, a strictly Academic publisher.

I have never once cited CMoS, as I don't follow it. Instead, since I'm not a big fan of style guides in general, I go for the consensus view, which is based on what readers, in general, expect to see in books, rather than what one particular publishing house happens to require for their book submissions.

If you're going to attack someone, then pick the proper target, rather than painting everyone who disagrees with you with the same brush.

Your general issue with style guides has been made multiple times before, however, while they were first developed by academics, they've since been adapted by most major publishing houses, and once they were, they exerted their influence to force them to adapt and add elements specific to fiction. I keep quoting the various guidelines of using em-dashes and ellipses in dialogue as an example, as they have NO place in academia whatsoever.

The only reason why the same influence wasn't exerted on the guidelines about using quote marks, was no one (either fiction or non-fiction users) saw any difference between the two! It's that simple. There's no vast conspiracy to keep the phenomenally success fiction market at a disadvantage (the majority of book sales, and profits, are from fiction, not stuffy academic works)

I was born and raised in Wisconsin, USA. I did not learn that standard in school.

Hence my use of the term "for the most part". If you're unfamiliar with the term, I suggest you look it up. It means (roughly speaking), "primarily but not exclusively". I've known all along that you're an outlier on the larger Australian contingent who've (more consistently) protested the dropped quote protests, I was just pointing out that most of the opposition was based on a regional usage.

I often use European (British English) spellings rather than American. Does that mean no one else is Ever entitled to call an American on their spelling, simply because one of us is inconsistent?

That's a hollow, meaningless argument. I'm also sure, there are PLENTY of Australians who have no problem with the usage (although I have yet to hear from them). As in most discussions, I'm NOT debating absolutes, but dealing with generalities. There is no iron-clad rule which dictates that Everyone who objects to dropped quotes must be Australian, I'm simply pointing out a predominance of opinion, largely restricted to this particular forum--hardly a representative sampling.

@Ernest

Which shows they do not assume one includes the other, so when they mention only one they must be referring to only that one, as is the case in the paragraph quoted.I don't always agree with it, but COMoS don't assume one is in the other, so I can't understand why you do.

Again, that's another false assumption based on your personal biases, which is also based on your interpretation of that single dictionary quote.

It's unfortunate, but for the most part, these style guides consistently use "quoted material" to refer to ANYTHING which is placed within quote marks. The ONLY time they make an exception, is when they're specifically referring to exceptions in the case of dialogue. Those are the Exceptions, NOT the rule, and those exceptions don't exclude every other guideline they stipulate.

Again, you're cherry picking what words you're choosing to follow, much as many Christians cherry pick which portions of the Old Testament they treat as "the Devine Word of God", thinking an off-hand comment about sleeping with your brother's wife dictates how God views gays, while ignoring the commandment to stone adulterers. You argument is just as convoluted. Instead, most reasonable people take words as they were intended, not as isolated commandments, but as templates regarding how things word together. Cherry-pick if you wish, I don't object to the shmorgishbord (sp?) approach, but don't dictate what others are allowed to accept for themselves based on your random selections.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

It was a mistake asking for opinions, like assholes, everyone has their own.

Some people use colostomy bags, not all assholes are intermittently full of shit.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

DS indicated that style sources in the US are prepared for the purpose of publishing non-fictional works. The people preparing those sources were undoubtedly focused on non-fictional works and did not consider fiction. I suspect the people developing the sources used by EB to have been focused in the same way - tunnel vision on non-fictional works.

If I understand EB, one of his main points is that his sources do not specifically state that quoted material and fictional narrative are the same, thus they must be different. If his sources are like the sources listed by DS, the part about 'the source not stating they are the same' is probably a true statement because if the people creating the source did not address fiction then they would not have addressed any similarities and differences.

However, I am not aware of EB ever being asked to provide, or volunteering, the sources that specifically state that quoted material and fictional narrative are different.

If he cannot provide a source that states they are different, then using the 'absence of a statement' about similarity or differences does not substantiate that the conclusion is valid.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

which is based on what readers, in general, expect to see in books, rather than what one particular publishing house happens to require for their book submissions


No it's based on what publishing industry insiders believe that readers expect. I am not convinced that they have any real knowledge about what real readers really expect.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

However, I am not aware of EB ever being asked to provide, or volunteering, the sources that specifically state that quoted material and fictional narrative are different.


REP,

It's not the narrative, but the dialogue that's at issue. In the other thread I've already provided the Miriam-Webster's dictionary definitions of quoted material and dialogue. Re-quoted below:

Simple Definition of quote

: to repeat (something written or said by another person) exactly

: to write or say the exact words of (someone)

: to write or say a line or short section from (a piece of writing or a speech)

Full Definition of quote quoted quoting

transitive verb

1 a : to speak or write (a passage) from another usually with credit acknowledgment
b : to repeat a passage from especially in substantiation or illustration
c : borrow 2a

2 : to cite in illustration

3 a : to state (the current price or bid-offer spread) for a commodity, stock, or bond
b : to give exact information on

4 : to set off by quotation marks

intransitive verb

: to inform a hearer or reader that matter following is quoted

...............

Simple Definition of quotation

: something that a person says or writes that is repeated or used by someone else in another piece of writing or a speech

: the act of using quotations in a piece of writing or a speech

: a written statement of how much money a particular job will cost to do

Full Definition of quotation

1 : something that is quoted; especially : a passage referred to, repeated, or adduced

2 a : the act or process of quoting
b (1) : the naming or publishing of current bids and offers or prices of securities or commodities
(2) : the bids, offers, or prices so named or published; especially : the highest bid and lowest offer for a particular security in a given market at a given time

............................

Simple Definition of dialogue

:the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.

: a discussion or series of discussions that two groups or countries have in order to end a disagreement

: a conversation between two or more people

Full Definition of dialogue

1 : a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing

2 a : a conversation between two or more persons; also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (as a computer)
b : an exchange of ideas and opinions < organized a series of dialogues on human rights >
c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution < a constructive dialogue between loggers and environmentalists >

3 : the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition < very little dialogue in this film >

4 : a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation

.......................

The key points are:

A quote is - to repeat (something written or said by another person) exactly

Dialogue is - the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.

Which shows they are two very different activities, despite using the same punctuation marks (something that happens with many punctuation marks). However, some people see them as the same activity, or one being a sub-set of the other. And that is the core of the dispute. Of course, if someone wishes to not accept the Miriam-Webster definitions, there's nothing I can do about that.

Replies:   REP  REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Ernest Bywater

's not the narrative, but the dialogue that's at issue


I know. For whatever reason, I use the wrong word when my mind if focused on what I am trying to say, and miss my error before posting.

REP

@Ernest Bywater

Which shows they are two very different activities, despite using the same punctuation marks (something that happens with many punctuation marks).


I totally agree with that statement.

What I disagree with is, stating that they are different because your sources do not state they are the same. I strongly suspect your sources do not state they are different.

While I agree they are different and punctuated the same, I do not agree with your using the absence of a statement in your sources to prove you are right. Your opponent could the same position, by indicating that your sources do not say they are different, therefore they must be the same.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

What I disagree with is, stating that they are different because your sources do not state they are the same.


OK. I suspect you're now going back to the CMoS quote we were talking about earlier. Please follow with me for a moment.

1. The above dictionary definitions sees a quote and dialogue as two different activities.

2. In one section of CMoS on the use of Quotation marks (I don't have a copy on hand and can't remember which it is) it states a certain usage as being for the quotation of quoted material, and then says it's also used for the quotation of the speaker's dialogue.

3. In the quoted section from CMoS earlier in this thread it said quoted material but didn't say speaker's dialogue. Since CMoS had previously seen reason to list them as two items, it's logical to accept they see them that way for the whole section.

4. Thus, if CMoS meant it to apply to both they would have said so, and not go with some assumption one includes the other.

........................

Now back to the general point of quotation and fiction dialogue being different is the many sources for styles that list how to present quotations in your documents all mention how to cite them properly. Usually by giving the either the author and title (some also ask for the page), or the speaker with where and when the speech is being given. In fiction dialogue you don't give such details because you're the creator and not quoting anyone. Mind you, where you do include a real quote or wish to introduce something as if it's a real quote, then you follow the usual quotation rules.

................

Now going back a step in the original quotation discussion. The drop of the closing quote for multi-paragraph quotes. Regardless of if you claim it's valid to use in fictional dialogue or not, I did provide references to show it is not a worldwide usage by quoting UK universities that don't list it as a valid method when quoting anything.

That, alone, goes to prove fiction writers should be very wary of using the missing apostrophe method, because many readers will not know what it means due to not having been taught it. Which is the core part of the entire discussion - to use or not use a system that may lead to reader confusion due to one missing punctuation mark.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Which shows they are two very different activities, despite using the same punctuation marks (something that happens with many punctuation marks). However, some people see them as the same activity, or one being a sub-set of the other. And that is the core of the dispute.

FINALLY ...
We ALL KNOW they are "two very different activities". We have all stated many times.
But they "[use] the same punctuation marks" in exactly the same way. That is ALL we have been stating.
***
The "core of the dispute" was in your imagination - what you imagined others did not understand.
PLEASE, when a dispute appears to be developing - READ WHAT WE ACTUALLY SAY.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

You obviously did not understand the point I was trying to make. My point has absolutely nothing to do with quoted material, dialog, or how these two items are to be punctuated. It has nothing to do with CMoS or any other style guide.

What my point was about is logical thinking.

What you said in earlier posts was Document X did not say Item A and Item B were the same. Therefore you stated that your conclusion was that according to Document X, Item A and Item B must be different.

That is faulty logic.

I doubt that Document X states that Item A and Item B are different. Therefore your adversary could apply the same faulty logic by claiming that Document X does not state that Item A and Item B are different, therefore Item A and Item B must be the same.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

You obviously did not understand the point I was trying to make


No, what I said was document X said in this situation you can do it for A and also do it for B, but later when it says in this other situation you can do it for A the failure, at that point, to say it can be done for B means it doesn't apply to B at all.

The logic failure comes when you want to suddenly incorporate B into every time A is mentioned, which I don't do or accept, especially when they've already shown them split into 2.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

We have all stated many times.
But they "[use] the same punctuation marks" in exactly the same way.


Wrong, the punctuation are not being used in exactly the same way every time which is the point I've been making. If they were being sued in exactly the same way every time they'd always come in pairs, not singles, not threes, not fives, the system of dropping an apostrophe would never happen.

Also, the UK references do not mention using the drop apostrophe in any situation at all, so it's not a universal process (as some claim) and it's not just my imagination to not use the dropped apostrophe. Feel free to use the dropped apostrophe if you want, but don't get upset when readers bitch about being confused by its usage, because not everyone is taught about it, and not all printers or authors use it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

it's not just my imagination to not use the dropped apostrophe.

Correct. THAT is not just YOUR IMAGINATION.
I started this whole exchange because I was looking for:
* support from more experienced authors so I could put a stronger case for the authors I edit for that the use of the dropped apostrophe convention is never NEEDED, and it is highly desirable they find ways that would not require its use
* extra ideas from experienced authors for HOW they write so there is no "requirement" to use it
***
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ON THAT, FOR FUCK'S SAKE, AND ALWAYS HAVE!
***

the punctuation are not being used in exactly the same way every time

I meant - WHEN quotations marks are used - they are ALWAYS used exactly the same way for both dialogue and quotes from written sources.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING THAT SUGGESTS THAT IS NOT SO.
***
If you can quote anything (from any respected source) contradicting that - I AM LISTENING.
IF NOT, PLEASE STOP POSTING ANYTHING DIRECTED AT ME ABOUT DIALOGUE, QUOTES, OR QUOTATION MARKS.
YOU ARE WASTING MY TIME, AND I'M ABSOLUTELY FUCKING SICK OF IT.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING THAT SUGGESTS THAT IS NOT SO.


Ross,

The only time I post anything that has your name on it is because it's in response to something you've posted that I'm quoting. Nothing is intended to be a direct attack on you or anyone else.

The way you use paired quotation marks in quotes and fiction dialogue is the same. Regardless of the source of the quote or the dialogue. Also, the punctuation is the same in this situation. I've no trouble with that, and never have had.

The issue comes in when people don't want to use paired quotation marks in fictional dialogue, but use the dropped mark version. That is where the split comes in. And only there. I've never had an issue with it being used for multi-paragraph quotes from texts by other people or even speeches by living persons, although it's a US taught format and not an internationally recognised one. The problem, for me, comes when they want to use the same system for multi-paragraph fictional dialogue because of the reasons previously stated. However, some people violently disagree and also claim it's an international format for fictional dialogue.

I've said a few times, that we should agree to disagree, and leave it. But someone keeps posting a further post saying I'm wrong on all counts or didn't post any supporting evidence, when I have, - and those two points I won't leave unchallenged. Sorry. Now, can we all agree to disagree, and leave it alone before Lazeez spits the dummy on us all.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The only mystery that remains is how you ever got the impression I do not totally agree with the opinions you just stated.
I have NEVER stated any opinion other than
1. When quotations are used, they are used in exactly the same way
2. Authors of fiction should go to great lengths to avoid writing anything which CMOS would insist required a dropped quotation mark.
***
This is the last you'll see from me one this point.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Correct. THAT is not just YOUR IMAGINATION.
I started this whole exchange because I was looking for:
* support from more experienced authors so I could put a stronger case for the authors I edit for that the use of the dropped apostrophe convention is never NEEDED, and it is highly desirable they find ways that would not require its use
* extra ideas from experienced authors for HOW they write so there is no "requirement" to use it

The key here, when you advise authors, is that they need a reason for including the dropped quote (i.e. they're writing for an American audience, they're story is set in America (so you'd use the American methods), and you've already addressed potential issues of confusion over it's use).

Just because something is 'allowed' doesn't mean you're justified in confusing readers. If a segment is confusing, for any reason, it needs to be clarified, rephrased or rewritten.

Also, because there IS a regional variation, authors should ALWAYS be aware there's likely to be confusion over it's usage. As a result, even if you follow the dropped quote usage, you should minimize it, break it up, and only use it when it's clear it's the same speaker speaking.

However, the one thing I've picked up from this extended discussion (over multiple threads), is that the blockquote method should NOT contain ANY quotes whatsoever--not simply a beginning and ending quote for the entire segment.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer


Also, because there IS a regional variation, authors should ALWAYS be aware there's likely to be confusion over it's usage. As a result, even if you follow the dropped quote usage, you should minimize it, break it up, and only use it when it's clear it's the same speaker speaking.


It's not regional. It's the correct way to do it for a multiple paragraph quote (if you don't use blockquote) or multiple paragraph dialogue. Everywhere.

It may not have been taught in school or people may have not learned it or have forgotten it, but I never came across anything that said it differed between American and British (and all the forms of that) English.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

It's not regional. It's the correct way to do it for a multiple paragraph quote (if you don't use blockquote) or multiple paragraph dialogue. Everywhere.


The missing punctuation usage not everywhere I was never taught it in Australia, it's not mentioned in several UK university and printing references I provided. The only places I can find it being promoted are in some North American style manuals.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

The missing punctuation usage not everywhere I was never taught it in Australia, it's not mentioned in several UK university and printing references I provided. The only places I can find it being promoted are in some North American style manuals.


I've read many articles on the differences between American and British punctuation. I've never seen the ending quotation in a multi-paragraph quote/dialogue mentioned.

Grammarly.com says the biggest difference is:

The big difference between British and American punctuation involves quotation marks and final punctuation. Americans put everything inside the quotation marks, and the British put everything outside the quotation marks unless it's part of the quote.


I've also seen the preference of single quote (what you call apostrophe) and double quote. For example at: http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/british-versus-american-style.html

American style uses double quotes (") for initial quotations, then single quotes (') for quotations within the initial quotation.

British style uses single quotes (') for initial quotations, then double quotes (") for quotations within the initial quotation.


and that article reinforces what grammarly.com says:

The above examples also show that the American style places commas and periods inside the quotation marks, even if they are not in the original material. British style (more sensibly) places unquoted periods and commas outside the quotation marks. For all other punctuation, the British and American styles are in agreement: unless the punctuation is part of the quoted material, it goes outside the quotation marks.


I've also read that American always has a period in abbreviations like Mr. and Capt. but the British leave off the period if the last letter of the word is the same as the last letter of the abbreviation. So for the two I mentioned would be Mr and Capt. in British (notice the missing period in Mr).

But I cannot find any reference to a difference for the quotation mark in a multi-paragraph quote/dialogue.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I've never seen the ending quotation in a multi-paragraph quote/dialogue mentioned.


The UK universities don't mention the dropped punctuation at all because their style manuals state to put multi-paragraph quotations in block quotes. They only offer quotations in paired quote marks with a citation for each paragraph or block quotes.

BTW I came through the Australian school system being taught UK English and we were taught to use single apostrophes as quote marks for actual quotations of people, and to use double apostrophes to designate dialogue in fiction. That was in the late 1960s. That always made it clear what was a quote and what was dialogue. Can't say I've seen anything about that recently, but it's also hard to find any advice on actual fiction writing now, just about everything is on academic, government, and news report writing styles.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

But I cannot find any reference to a difference for the quotation mark in a multi-paragraph quote/dialogue.

Wikipedia has an article called 'Comparison of American and British English'. It's size is listed at 143 KB (19,769 words)
IT IS EXTREMELY DETAILED - it would be 50-60 pages if published in a typical paperback format.
I searched the article for the string "quot". There were 27 of those. They all describe differences between uses of single and double quotes, and placement of ending punctuation marks inside or outside the end quotation mark.
***
SURELY, nobody could think there are ANY DIFFERENCES AT ALL between the British and American use of the dropped quotation mark convention if there is nothing at all about it in 60 pages of descriptions of what differences do exist between BrE and AmE.
***
We have seen here that Jane Austen used it. Isn't that enough for you all?

Ross at Play
Updated:

Here is a tip that is ACTUALLY USEFUL.

I was editing something for an author who I know is reluctant to avoid use of the dropped quotation convention.

I came up with this:

It is not certain readers will instantly know from the context these two paragraphs have the same speaker continuing. Insert 'But' as the first word of both sentences. That makes sense in both sentences, and there's no way a reader will NOT know it is the same speaker is continuing on.

There's more than one way to skin a cat ... even an American one!

EDIT TO ADD.
EB suggested to me, correctly, that many people do jump into conversations with the word, 'But'.
I said this author was "reluctant" to accept my advice. Perhaps I knew they would not accept it is more accurate. In that position, I think suggesting the additional of 'But' is the best I could do to limit the number of readers who may experience uncertainty about who is speaking.

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

I consider it an accepted standard, simply because it IS.

Accepted by whom? Everyone who accepts it of course :-)

The fact that Australians don't accept it is a purely Regional variant.

And there is never any suggestion that the whole world must adhere to a regional variant where that region is the US. Of course not.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater


The UK universities don't mention the dropped punctuation at all because their style manuals state to put multi-paragraph quotations in block quotes. They only offer quotations in paired quote marks with a citation for each paragraph or block quotes.


I don't remember being taught about the dropped quotation mark either (in American schools at any level). But that doesn't mean it's not a punctuation rule.

I have never seen anything in writing that talks about differences between countries/regions using a different convention for a multi-paragraph quote/dialogue (like the many other differences).

Article after article says to drop the quotation mark until the last one for dialogue. No article says to do it another way. So as far as I'm concerned, that rule is universal.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

American style uses double quotes (") for initial quotations, then single quotes (') for quotations within the initial quotation.

British style uses single quotes (') for initial quotations, then double quotes (") for quotations within the initial quotation.

Please note, Ernest, that when Grammer Girl refers to "quotes within quotes", she's not referring to quotes by one reporter of another reporters work, but concerning any use of quotation marks, regardless of the content. That's consistent with virtually all the guidelines regarding quotations. They don't mean it's only limited to quotations from other sources, only that it's a universal guideline for the use of quotation mark usage.

Nuff said. I think we all know where we each stand on this issue. Belaboring the point is fruitless.

I've also read that American always has a period in abbreviations like Mr. and Capt. but the British leave off the period if the last letter of the word is the same as the last letter of the abbreviation.

Except, strangely enough, for "Miss". For some strange reason I've never understood, you never add a period to it like you do to every other abbreviation/title/form-of-address.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It is not certain readers will instantly know from the context these two paragraphs have the same speaker continuing. Insert 'But' as the first word of both sentences. That makes sense in both sentences, and there's no way a reader will NOT know it is the same speaker is continuing on.

Ha-ha. Except it's grammatically incorrect. You can get away with it on occasion, but only if you don't overuse it (it's another roadblock many readers trip over in fiction). However, if you substitute "However", you should be okay. ;D

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

And there is never any suggestion that the whole world must adhere to a regional variant where that region is the US. Of course not.

This discussion has never centered around enforcing the dropped quote rule, rather it's centered around the validity of the (presumably) American system of using dropped quotes for prolonged monologues. (I still haven't seen much evidence that other British speakers don't adhere to it, mostly because of the many stories I've read where they use it extensively.)

My point was, it makes sense to account for differences in writing styles in different regions, because it'll trip certain readers up, and you'll undoubtedly get criticized for it. The solution, is to approach it sensibly, rather than apply any given technique as a grand fiat to use on any occasion you feel the need to use it.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


rather it's centered around the validity of the (presumably) American system of using dropped quotes for prolonged monologues. (I still haven't seen much evidence that other British speakers don't adhere to it,


That was my point. It's not an "American" system. I've never seen an alternative from any country's form of English.

The bottom line is it's a rare thing that's evidently not taught except for maybe an advanced English class (which none of us ever took). But that doesn't mean it's not the rule.

And in this case, the rule makes sense so why not use it?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Article after article says to drop the quotation mark until the last one for dialogue.


The only articles I've seen saying this are from North America, and when I can trace them back they all relate to people who were taught at US colleges that push using CMoS. I have seen, and listed many other articles that do not mention the dropped punctuation rule at all, simply because they only list two ways to do quotation, and state there are only two ways - Paired Quotation Marks and Block Quotes. Since they don't recognise the dropped punctuation process they don't list it at all. These later references I found and posted are from the UK and Australia.

I also find it interesting you say the dropped punctuation method isn't taught at the US schools, to your knowledge, so that suggest it may have slipped in the back door.

Both the above make it clear it isn't a universal process, but likely a US process and not a strict grammar rule at all. But, hey, if you want to use it, do so, but don't complain when people not used to the convention bitch about you not writing well.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

I also find it interesting you say the dropped punctuation method isn't taught at the US schools, to your knowledge, so that suggest it may have slipped in the back door.


I didn't say it wasn't taught in American schools. I said I don't remember learning it and maybe it's only taught in advanced English classes.

Ok, check this article out: http://baxtercommunications.nl/quotation-marks-multi-paragraph-rule/#.V_fS86KnwcY

It specifically addresses US and UK English.

"To solve this problem, both UK and US English have adopted the following technique.

. To indicate the original speaker is still talking, the first paragraph is left open: no closing quotation marks are placed.
. To indicate that we are still dealing with quoted material rather than the narrator's prose, quotation marks are placed at the beginning of the second paragraph.

"In other words, when dealing with quotations that extend over more than one paragraph, you need to put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end only of the final one."

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


Ok, check this article out:


An article from the Netherlands about quoting some one you interview that starts off with:

In an interview article, it's important that readers are never in any doubt as to who said what: is the interviewer (or narrator) speaking, or are these the words of the interviewee? And the problem naturally gets more complex if several people are being interviewed. One of the more subtle ways writers in English guide their readers through an interview is by using punctuation.

In this article, we explain and exemplify what to do if a passage quoting the interviewee extends over more than one paragraph. It involves a rule that many native speakers are not consciously aware of, but which journalists, editors and publishers know and apply regularly.


Which makes it clear it's not to do with fictional dialogue. However, I find ti interesting Andy Baxter, the writer of the article, is from the UK and not one of the UK universities listed the dropped punctuation as a viable option on their webstites.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

maybe it's only taught in advanced English classes.

Ok, check this article out: http://baxtercommunications.nl/quotation-marks-multi-paragraph-rule/#.V_fS86KnwcY


I find it a tad amusing that the best cite you can find for UK English using the dropped quote method is a commercial website out of a country (Netherlands) where the native language isn't English.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

I find it a tad amusing that the best cite you can find for UK English using the dropped quote method is a commercial website out of a country (Netherlands) where the native language isn't English.


First of all, non-English speaking people who learn English as a second language typically follow the rules more closely than those who speak the language every day.

The reason I used that article is because it's the only one I found that specifically said "both UK and US." All the articles assume that.

The articles I found concerning differences between US and UK never mention this punctuation, therefore, my assertion is there is no difference.

I was actually looking for an article where the author used UK spelling (like "colour") but couldn't find one.

I'LL SAY IT AGAIN:
Show me any reference where they say punctuating multi-paragraph dialogue is different in the UK and US.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Which makes it clear it's not to do with fictional dialogue.


There is no difference for fictional dialogue and quoted material.

Replies:   Zom
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I also find it interesting you say the dropped punctuation method isn't taught at the US schools, to your knowledge, so that suggest it may have slipped in the back door.

No, it means that neither Switch nor I ever took advanced English courses in college, since we never envisioned making a living as writers. We only came to it late in the game. However, that doesn't mean it's not taught.

I'm willing to accept that it originates with CMoS, but I still contend it's a valid usage in dialogue.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Which makes it clear it's not to do with fictional dialogue.

Again, you're making fallacious arguments. All it means is that an article, directed towards journalism students, focuses on journalists needs rather than on things they're not interested in.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

All it means is that an article, directed towards journalism students, focuses on journalists needs rather than on things they're not interested in.


Actually, when you look at the site it's a blog article from a guy running a business selling his people as translators and editors of business communications. He doesn't cite any sources for his advice anywhere on his website that I can find. The only books the blogger is listed as writing are two academic works he co-wrote with his wife.

Zom

@Switch Blayde

There is no difference for fictional dialogue and quoted material.

I can't recall seeing fictional dialogue embedded within quoted material.

Switch Blayde

@Zom

There is no difference for fictional dialogue and quoted material.

I can't recall seeing fictional dialogue embedded within quoted material.


I meant the quotation mark rule.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

It is not certain readers will instantly know from the context these two paragraphs have the same speaker continuing. Insert 'But' as the first word of both sentences. That makes sense in both sentences, and there's no way a reader will NOT know it is the same speaker is continuing on.


I couldn't count the number of times I've heard someone jump into the middle of a conversation with the word But as the start of their rebuttal of the person who just spoke. It's not an option I'd recommend, unless I had an ID tag of some sort.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Except, strangely enough, for "Miss". For some strange reason I've never understood, you never add a period to it like you do to every other abbreviation/title/form-of-address.

The reason for that is simply "Miss" is NOT an abbreviation.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Ha-ha. Except it's grammatically incorrect. You can get away with it on occasion, but only if you don't overuse it (it's another roadblock many readers trip over in fiction). However, if you substitute "However", you should be okay. ;D

But don't we all agree authors of fiction are allowed to do things that are "grammatically incorrect" to assist in the clarity of readers. :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Both the above make it clear it isn't a universal process, but likely a US process


NOT likely a US process.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) used it.

@Crumbly Writer

I'm willing to accept that it originates with CMoS, but I still contend it's a valid usage in dialogue.

According to Wikipedia, the University of Chicago was not established until 1890.
Jane Austen was using it 80 years before then.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

NOT likely a US process.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) used it.


Actually it was the publisher of the novel.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


From CW:
I'm willing to accept that it originates with CMoS

From Ross at Play:
NOT likely a US process.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) used it.

From SB:
Actually it was the publisher of the novel.


Okay, SB. You may have that one.

BUT, according to Wiki, the publisher of CMOS, "The University of Chicago Press was founded in 1891."

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

BUT, according to Wiki, the publisher of CMOS, "The University of Chicago Press was founded in 1891."


CMoS didn't invent that punctuation rule. It simply tells what the rule is. Some of CMos is a style guide (like the serial comma) and some of it is a grammar guide.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play


Jane Austen (1775-1817) used it.


I've not read much of her work, but the only times I've seen it in her works was when she used it as quotation and not dialogue. The examples I've were in quotations from a letters. Maybe someone will read all her works and find out how many examples are quotes of documents within the story and how many are actual dialogue.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Jane Austen (1775-1817) used it.

I've not read much of her work, but the only times I've seen it in her works was when she used it as quotation and not dialogue. The examples I've were in quotations from a letters. Maybe someone will read all her works and find out how many examples are quotes of documents within the story and how many are actual dialogue.

I am only aware of her using it when quoting a letter.
There are some different questions.
***
I was responding to the suggestion by CW dropped quotes may have originated with CMOS.
They did not. It was being used in England for quotes of written materials 80 years before the publisher of CMOS was established.
***
Your post suggests another possible question: are there any differences at all in the use of punctuation marks for "documents within the story and ... actual dialogue".
You know my views on that question.
PLEASE do not post anything directed at me regarding that.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

CMoS didn't invent that punctuation rule. It simply tells what the rule is. Some of CMos is a style guide (like the serial comma) and some of it is a grammar guide.

You should have directed that post at CW - that was his mistaken impression, not mine.
I was proving that impression was false by pointing out the rule had been used by Jane Austen 80 years before the publisher of CMOS was even established.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

I can't recall seeing fictional dialogue embedded within quoted material.

That's why we differentiated the use of 'indented text' in fiction to only reference certain types of messages: notes, reports, newspaper readings or broadcasts, otherwise all dialogue is presented as ordinary quoted text. ( Again, note how I use the term "quoted text", which doesn't mean I'm quoting it from a separate source).

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I couldn't count the number of times I've heard someone jump into the middle of a conversation with the word But as the start of their rebuttal of the person who just spoke. It's not an option I'd recommend, unless I had an ID tag of some sort.

That's why, in fictional dialogue at least, I'd reserve "In that case" for those instances, instead of "But". As I stated earlier, no author should ever make a habit of starting sentences with "but", as it's an incorrect usage of English grammar. It's okay, on occasion, as an effective presentation, but it's a detriment if used repeatedly.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The reason for that is simply "Miss" is NOT an abbreviation.

Most sources attribute "Miss" as an abbreviation for "Mistress", a reference which has fallen into disfavor, and which most people don't want to emphasize. It's more like a case of collective amnesia.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

But don't we all agree authors of fiction are allowed to do things that are "grammatically incorrect" to assist in the clarity of readers. :-)

See my other comment. It's okay to use occasionally, for an effective presentation, but using it repeatedly just marks you as a lazy writer, not wanting to be bothered to check a thesaurus. Once shouldn't use it as a rule.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

According to Wikipedia, the University of Chicago was not established until 1890.
Jane Austen was using it 80 years before then.

It's likely CMoS picked it up from current literary usage, rather than dictating entirely new uses. As such, they'd merely reinforce what was already 'accepted behavior' in an attempt to standardize usage, rather than randomly change everything readers expect.

Even with the usage of ellipsis, where some sources use "..." instead of " ... ", they were picking up on already standardized usage by the newspaper industry for saving space by eliminating the extra spaces.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I've not read much of her work, but the only times I've seen it in her works was when she used it as quotation and not dialogue. The examples I've were in quotations from a letters. Maybe someone will read all her works and find out how many examples are quotes of documents within the story and how many are actual dialogue.

As we've discussed endlessly here, they are two separate styles of handling quoted material. In the first, in "normal" dialogue, if it extends beyond a single paragraph (something that rarely happens when quoting from another source), you indent it so you don't need to add quotes to each paragraph. In fiction, we only use this for external sources of dialogue: notes, newspaper clippings or television broadcasts.

In both fiction and non-fiction uses, they are clearly two separate styles of referencing quotes, which follow two separate guidelines.

Also, in the use of indent quotes, you drop ALL quotes, including the initial and ending quotation marks.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

I use the term "quoted text


I understand that to mean: dialog in a story is the author quoting what his fictional character has said.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

It's more like a case of collective amnesia.

Mistress used to have two main meanings. 1) A woman who is being 'kept' by a man. 2) A woman who is the superior of the person speaking to her.

The first meaning is alive and well. The second meaning is still valid, but, at least in the US, it is rarely used as a method of addressing your boss. Probably due to the negative connotation associated with the first meaning.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

You should have directed that post at CW


I was replying to the highlighted text I quoted, not you. It just happened to be in your post.

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP
Updated:

There seem to be unstated assumptions in this conversation.

Back when, a group of people decided that they wanted their documentation to have a consistent format, look, feel, etc. Therefore, they defined the rules and styles that should be used in creation of their documents. When they encountered a style, or rule, that offered them two or more options to do something, they decided on the option that they would use in their documents. They packaged their decisions and guidelines as a Style Guide. Their intent was to create a set of consistent rules that should be applied to their documents. Over time, people not associated with that group decided to use the group's Style Guide for their documentation - with or without a few changes.

The reason for my little rant is, just because a Style Guide defines a specific way to do something does not mean that other approaches to doing that something are wrong. To me citing a Style Guide to prove that a certain way of doing something is right or wrong, is a bogus argument.

Now if someone wants to cite 'common usage' as a reason for doing something a certain way, I would have to say, I am not a lemming. I choose to evaluate the merits of the different options and decide on the option that I want to use, be it right or wrong.

As far as the discussion on dialog versus quotations and the way they are punctuated, I have made my decision and am ready to move on. By now almost everyone has made their decision also, and the only apparent point of further discussion is to convince your opponent(s) to change their opinions. I doubt that will happen.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

"Miss" as an abbreviation for "Mistress"


"Miss" is not an abbreviation for "Mistress" although it is derived from it.

Mrs. is a contraction derived from Middle English maistresse, "female teacher, governess." Once a title of courtesy, mistress fell into disuse around the late 14th century. The pronunciation, however, remained intact. By the 15th century, mistress evolved into a derogatory term for "a kept woman of a married man." (Dictionary.com)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

What about target shooting? Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss. I am a guy, I never mistress.

Replies:   REP
REP

@richardshagrin

What about target shooting?


Don't know about you, but when I'm ready to shoot, I would rather hit a Mistress's target than a Mister's target. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Don't know about you, but when I'm ready to shoot, I would rather hit a Mistress's target than a Mister's target.

What if the Mistress's target is the Mister and vice versa? For myself, I'd rather not be the target, in either case. :)

Ernest Bywater

@Capt Zapp

With all this discussion about Miss, I wonder how people in the future will think about the term Mz the politically correct insist on using now.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

With all this discussion about Miss, I wonder how people in the future will think about the term Mz the politically correct insist on using now.

"Mz." fell out of favor a long time ago. Most people still aren't comfortable with "Mrs." and "Miss", but they haven't really settled on a preferred alternative. As far as I'm concerned, "Mz." works as a non-specific female equivalent of "Mr.".

Of course, the next roadblock is picking a non-gender specific/non-marital status form of address. "Significant other" and "lover" are both terrible choices.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

You should have directed that post at CW

I was replying to the highlighted text I quoted, not you. It just happened to be in your post.

My post was MAINLY INTENDED FOR OTHERS ...
I would not want anything thinking I could possibly have believed that.
***
It is possible to correct for that type while typing your posts - but we all stuff up sometimes.
I accept it as an understandable oversight on your part and no offense was intended - so none taken. :-)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play
The reason for that is simply "Miss" is NOT an abbreviation.
@CrumblyWriter
Most sources attribute "Miss" as an abbreviation for "Mistress", a reference which has fallen into disfavor, and which most people don't want to emphasize. It's more like a case of collective amnesia.

It most certainly originated as an abbreviation of "mistress".
My Oxford Dictionary mentions that as "(from/since?) 17th Century".
The modern meanings it has are "miss" for unmarried; and "mistress" as either regular sexual partner of someone she's not married to, or holding various positions of authority.
But should there be another one as in this type of exchange:
"Miss, I am in need of a mistress."
"Sure, I love BDSM."

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

the newspaper industry for saving space by eliminating the extra spaces.

The University of Oxford takes that to an extreme I have not seen elsewhere. It has its own internal Style Guide, for students and employees. That states:
The General Rule
If there are multiple (correct) ways of doing something, choose the one which uses the least space and the least ink. For instance:
• close up spaces and don't use full stops in abbreviations (eg 6pm)
• use lower case wherever possible
• only write out numbers up to ten and use figures for 11 onwards
It also specifies em-dashes are not allowed, and en-dashes must be used instead.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@REP


1. There seem to be unstated assumptions in this conversation ... just because a Style Guide defines a specific way to do something does not mean that other approaches to doing that something are wrong.

2. To me citing a Style Guide to prove that a certain way of doing something is right or wrong, is a bogus argument.


There is another unstated assumption that many erroneously make in many of these conversations.

***

Your words I have quoted as number 1 are absolutely correct!

***

Your words I have quoted as number 2 appear to contain an assumption that constantly drives me bonkers on these forums.

***

I frequently cite Style Guides and other sources as something that is acceptable.

All assumptions by others that I am asserting it is the only acceptable approach are utterly bogus (unless I explicitly state the opinion that no other approach is valid).

How else can any facts be introduced into conversations which only yet have people spouting contrary opinions at each other?

***

I frequently become frustrated here because I merely cite some style guides as evidence to support an opinion - then others assume I believes that is the only valid answer to the question. Many then go on to assume anyone quoting a style guide would use it to find answer to their question and then slavishly do that in every situations.
***
I am not a moron, and neither is anybody else here, but the way many responses here are worded suggest others assume that I am, i.e. I am incapable of applying some common sense in the way I use style guides.
***
I would really appreciate people here trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the writers of posts when some relevant facts are not included. PLEASE TRY to post in a way that EXTENDS on their comments, and AVOID implications they might not be aware of other facts. Far more often than not from what I can see, those extra facts are NOT included simply because the writer knows others already know them.

***

To REP:

You recently gave us a lesson of the first thing taught in any Logic course: 'A implies B' does not imply 'Not A implies Not B'. I appreciated your reasons for making that post.

Perhaps it would be constructive to give us a similar lesson on this:

Just because (every time someone cites some style guide)

- they do not explicitly state, "I know this might not be the only valid answer," and "Even when I find one 'correct answer' I choose to adopt. I will not necessary use it every time"

that does NOT imply

- they believe their quote is the only valid answer, or having found a valid answer they are prepared to adopt they will slavishly use it every time.

EDITED TO REVISE INTOLERANT LANGUAGE BASED UPON THE RESPONSE BELOW BY CrumblyWriter

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

In my view, the morons here are ...

Now, now. We're discussing grammar. It's an objective point of view, but it's not person. To start calling people names is attaching significance to a minor, but prolonged and intractable, discussion that it doesn't deserve. No one has yet called anyone a Nazi, so it hasn't yet degraded to basic name calling, let's not push it over the edge because we're all tired or arguing the same points.

No one here is a moron. We each have our opinions, and most aren't willing to change their standard practice, but the differences are personal attacks or signs of mental adaptness.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


No one here is a moron.


Morons can have IQ scores as high as 70 and many can function in society reasonably well. The problem is the Idiots.

I went searching and found more somewhat useful information.

"It's true — there's a difference. The three terms didn't start out as social insults either, in fact. In the early 1900s, psychologists used the terms to describe various levels of retardation. Those with an IQ of 0 to 25 (an IQ of 100 is average) were called idiots, 26 to 50 were called imbeciles and 51 to 70 were called morons. Morons could communicate and learn common tasks; imbeciles stalled mentally at about six years old; and idiots couldn't respond to stimulus or communicate with any level of competency.

More facts:

•The terms held until the 1970s when society decided they were demeaning or condescending. They were replaced with mild, moderate and severe.

•Down syndrome children first were called Mongolian idiots because their features were thought to look like people from Mongolia; Down syndrome first was called mongolism.

•Levels of retardation, or developmental disability, now are defined by more than just IQ — levels of mental and physical functioning are also considered.

•Signs of metal disability may begin with young children who crawl or walk or sit up later than their peers. They may also have a harder time memorizing information, speaking and interacting socially with other children."

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Discuss this Article

anon995846
Post 12
The goverment would need a new term for -0 classification.


anon994935
Post 11
The people of the U.S. get the quality of government they demand, so in actuality, the citizenry elect people of their own mental capabilities. America's got the government they've asked for, and now they're complaining?


anon992861
Post 9
All of this time my wife has been calling me an idiot, when what she meant was moron. Sheesh! What an imbecile!


anon992122
Post 8
So how would you define the White House today: an Imbecile or Moron?


anon961663
Post 6
I thought the answer was Harry Reid, John Boehner and Obama...


anon356929
Post 5
I love your details. They really help me understand the concept.


anon258628
Post 1
Interesting differences. I've always had difficulty determining if our federal government is made up of morons, imbeciles or idiots. Your definitions clear this up. They are all of the above!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

So how would you define the White House today: an Imbecile or Moron?

Nit: A building has no intellect. It's an inanimate object. And no one here has an IQ anywhere near the levels being discussed here, which was my initial point. There's no need to throw insulting terms around, simply because they don't agree with you, unless you prefer making enemies.

Ross at Play

I HAVE CORRECTED my intemperate language.
I get frustrated here frequently BECAUSE others read things that do not explicitly state every possible caveat, and respond as if the poster does not know there may be exceptions or limitations to the point they are trying to make.
MY WISH is those here would word their responses in a way that EXPANDS ON what others have said, rather than the so frequent implications that something was omitted or wrong in the original post.
IF we all tried harder to write our posts assuming others have a modicum of common sense these forums would become much less intolerant, and much more productive.

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