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Editing, please

rvbuilder

There has been quite a bit published on this website regarding common grammatical errors. I am a reviewer, I have volunteered to be an editor, but mostly I am an avid reader of many stories on this website. It has pretty much been my sole source of reading material for the last several years, and I never grow tired of the infinite variety here at SOL.

All this being said, I hope some of you authors take to heart what I am about to say, and I mean no disrespect. Of all the egregious grammatical errors that I have seen, the one that gets to me most is when somebody leaves the "r" off the word "your". I hate this more than "to", "two", "too", "there", "their", "they're"...you get the idea. Oh yeah: the word "idea" does not have an "l" on the end of it!

There, I'm glad I got this off my chest. Thank you all so much for paying attention.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ernest Bywater

@rvbuilder

There, I'm glad I got this off my chest. Thank you all so much for paying attention.


Ayep, and it's a common typo because if you're touch typing and you hit the key a little softly, it doesn't register, but it's easy to miss in the post writing editing as well. Another common typo is out for our or yout for your as 't' is the key next door.

Replies:   richardshagrin
rvbuilder

As someone who retired after 37 years as a technical writer, I'm aware of most of the mistakes and pitfalls, especially keyboarding…and I've seen me make 'em!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

typo

Type O is a kind of blood. A bloody shame.

awnlee jawking

@rvbuilder

and I've seen me make 'em!


You're from Sunderland?

AJ

REP

@rvbuilder

I agree. There is a second type of error that is also inexcusable, and that is an editing error. I believe this error occurs when the author edits a sentence to change the wording and leaves a word that should have been deleted.

Authors should always reread an edited sentence carefully to ensure that an error was not introduced by their editorial changes.

Keet

@REP

I agree. There is a second type of error that is also inexcusable, and that is an editing error. I believe this error occurs when the author edits a sentence to change the wording and leaves a word that should have been deleted.

That's one of the few errors I really hate. I can overlook other errors if they are not repetitive and there aren't too many but that error often causes that you have to reread the sentence to understand what it should be and that disrupts my reading-flow.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Keet

For me the homonym errors are bad enough and have a slight disruption on my reading-flow. Extra words left in is a far more intrusive error for the reason you stated.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Authors should always reread an edited sentence carefully to ensure that an error was not introduced by their editorial changes.

That's why I frequently tell my editors the corrections I've made to a story, so they can spot any new errors I've introduced. Unfortunately, once they've read the story, they're not particularly careful with the 'correction' edits. :(

PotomacBob

@REP

There is a second type of error that is also inexcusable


I disagree. I, too, am an avid reader on SOL (but neither an author, reviewer or editor), and I pay for my membership. I am more forgiving of the authors here. This is a site for amateur writers who go unpaid for the yarns they write for us. If they come up with a good story, just about any error is excusable. If the author makes me care what happens to the characters, I can overlook typos, editing errors, misused grammar, misspellings, even British spellings. All the author has to do to get my interest in a story is, first, to provide a good description (blurb), and then be a good storyteller. The technical details are, at worst, a minor annoyance. If an author tells me up front that "I've never lived in or even been to Podunk, so I have no idea whether what I describe in this story is historically accurate" - I can buy into the story just as easily as I can to learn that Clark Kent can fly if he puts his underwear over his tights.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@PotomacBob

That is how you and others react to technical errors in a story and that's okay.

However, many of us find technical errors to be problematic. Our basic opinion is if an author, amateur or professional, takes pride in his story, the author will strive to eliminate technical errors.

Unfortunately, a number of authors don't take pride in what they write - at least that is my opinion.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

The more you know about computers and programming, the easier it is, probably, to fix errors. If you are a less expert story poster, how to go back over the work already posted to correct issues may be less obvious. It may be the difference between story teller/writer than an "author".

I sometimes review stories with Technical flaws, but it is the story that makes or breaks my opinion. Not everyone has access to or knows how to use an editor or proof-reader. Lets enjoy what they post, and if you don't want to read it, don't.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@PotomacBob


If the author makes me care what happens to the characters, I can overlook typos, editing errors, misused grammar, misspellings, even British spellings. All the author has to do to get my interest in a story is, first, to provide a good description (blurb), and then be a good storyteller. The technical details are, at worst, a minor annoyance.


I wholeheartedly agree. Decent storytelling is always the key. The best, most knowledgeable writing expert, can't save a badly told story. If the story is captivating, you generally don't notice the flaws. You ONLY spot the flaws because the story is lacking. That said, cleaning up the story with more refined text only adds to the underlying story, but it doesn't make or break it.

You need to start with a decent story. Ir you can't accomplish that, all the techniques in the world won't save your damn story, but adding the proper techniques makes a good story into a superb story!

That's why I like discussing different literary techniques, so we can ALL decide to use those techniques or not, as our story demands. I never mean to imply that authors HAVE to apply a particular technique, or that every other technique is inferior, only that authors should have every available technique they need in their quiver, so he can pull it out when needed.

More techniques, based on their likelihood of success in a particular setting, is simply giving us a basis to evaluate which techniques to use when. But it's never a zero-sum game. Use a technique or not, but focus on what makes the best story, rather than feeling you're required to use any particular technique.

These discussion (about technique) are only for us to evaluate new techniques, not value judgements about their use. Whatever works, works. Whatever doesn't, doesn't. Finito!

Crumbly Writer

@REP

That is how you and others react to technical errors in a story and that's okay.

Again, I evaluate techniques by their success, not what's considered superior. But I've found that an exciting, captivating chapter, while having the exact same number of typos, never get a single complaint. Again, the only time readers ever complain is when a particular chapter isn't captivating enough.

If you're thoroughly involved in a chapter, the typos are largely invisible, as you're more interested in the story than the esoteric details. And that opinion is based on an objective evaluation of typos vs. chapter contents. It's easy to spot an excellent, all-engaging chapters, but it's also easy to spot which chapters will get the most typo complaints. After all, it's not like my writing gets ANY better in an especially exciting chapter, or any worse in a long, boring chapter.

That said, I agree with your last point. Authors polish their work because they take pride in their work and want to produce the best result they can. Those who don't care how many errors their stories contain, clearly don't care whether anyone reads their writing or not, they're simply engaging in intellectual masturbation, and those people are best to carry on in complete privacy, as they don't desire any help!

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

I sometimes review stories with Technical flaws, but it is the story that makes or breaks my opinion. Not everyone has access to or knows how to use an editor or proof-reader. Lets enjoy what they post, and if you don't want to read it, don't.

Readers are much more forgiving of errors with new authors, as they overlook many typos in hopes the author will improve with time. However, if the author's writing doesn't improve over time, they become such more critical of the same technical errors.

Once again, readers are more interested in well told stories, rather than the technical precision. A good story teller is successful despite their technical failings (ex: J. K. Rowling). But someone who's studied the 'craft' of their writing their entire lives often can't pen a decent story if their lives depended on it. Technique doesn't save a bad story, but it only makes a successful story that much better.

Again, technique won't save a bad story, but technique provides the tools an author needs to tell the best story they can. It's always story first, techniques second, regardless of the author.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

If you're thoroughly involved in a chapter, the typos are largely invisible, as you're more interested in the story than the esoteric details.


Your opinion is perfectly fine for you and your reading style.

Your opinion it does not apply to me and I believe that is true of many readers. It does not matter to me how interesting a chapter may be, I spot most of the typos, homonyms, and excess words in a sentence.

Your objective evaluation does not support your opinion for you don't know if most readers see or don't see the grammatical errors in interesting or boring chapters or how they react to grammatical errors when they do see them.

Replies:   Ross at Play
rustyken

I've recently come across two grammar errors that result in confusion.
One is to end a dialog with (open quote)(comma)(space) rather than (comma)(closing quote)space.

The second is switching speakers in a paragraph. Well I presume they did because that is the only way the paragraph made sense.

Cheers

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play  PotomacBob
REP
Updated:

@rustyken


(open quote)(comma)(space)


Minor nit, but I believe you meant closing quote.

I agree that switching speakers in one paragraph is a bad practice. I have seen it done by several authors and almost every time I read through the change of speaker, and had to go back and reread the paragraph to determine what each speaker said even though the author clearly labeled it as a change of speakers.

Without seeing the passage you are referring to, I can't imagine why the author didn't use a separate paragraph for each speaker.

Replies:   rustyken
rustyken

@REP

Minor nit, but I believe you meant closing quote.

This time my typing was not in error. A dialog often ended with a (open quote)(comma)(space).

;-)

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@rustyken

The opening quote appears at the start of the dialog, not at the end of the dialog.

SOL does not use smart quotes, so the opening and closing quote are the same symbol. Now if you were talking about a typing error in a story posted on another site, then yes you could have seen a opening smart quote at the end of the dialog.

Replies:   rustyken
Ross at Play

@REP

It does not matter to me how interesting a chapter may be, I spot most of the typos, homonyms, and excess words in a sentence.

You are not alone. Without mentioning names, I know of one recently posted story which has 7 reader comments - all were encouraging about the story-telling but noted the many technical problems. The majority explicitly told the author to seek the help of an editor.

And there's a difference between not knowing the basics and making mistakes. While SOL readers are generally forgiving of some mistakes slipping through, I expect many draw their line at the point where they gain the impression the author is not trying to do their best.

Ross at Play

@rustyken

I've recently come across two grammar errors that result in confusion.

Without intending to question your post, I will note some minor differences between British and American English. Based on my dead-tree Oxford Dictionary:
1. It recommends single quote marks for direct speech whereas AmE uses double quote marks
2. It says, with my bold font:

When you write down a conversation, you normally begin a new paragraph for each new speaker.

3. The placement of commas is different when a dialog tag divides a sentence of dialogue, for example:

'That', said Nick, 'is all I know.'

Ross at Play

REP made this comment above:

SOL does not use smart quotes, so the opening and closing quote are the same symbol.

Is that true if you post with html format instead of txt?

If so, that will be the first reason I've found why authors should make the extra effort needed to use html formats.

PotomacBob

@rustyken

I've recently come across two grammar errors that result in confusion.
One is to end a dialog with (open quote)(comma)(space) rather than (comma)(closing quote)space.


I understand that this sample you cite violates the rules of punctuation that I was taught by Miss Higganbotham in 6th grade English. I don't understand why it's confusing.

Replies:   REP
REP

@PotomacBob

One of the main reasons for the confusion is SOL has authors who write using the American grammar rules and authors who write using British grammar rules.

The two sets of rules differ in whether the comma or period should go inside or outside the closing quote.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@REP

One of the main reasons for the confusion is SOL has authors who write using the American grammar rules and authors who write using British grammar rules.

The two sets of rules differ in whether the comma or period should go inside or outside the closing quote.

That is THE single worst difference in the two sets of grammar. The American way just looks really weird to me and I consistently regard it as stupidly wrong, especially if a sentence ends with "blabla."
A sentence ends with a full stop so the closing quotes are not part of the sentence anymore in my opinion. That is, unless it is a stop for the text inside the quotes. But then the sentence would end like "blabla.".
It's almost like the Americans just had to do it differently to separate them from the British.

Dominions Son

@Keet

It's almost like the Americans just had to do it differently to separate them from the British.


The Revolutionary war in 1776, the war of 1812. American's didn't start liking the British again for a long time.

As an American, it would not surprise me at all if a lot of the differences between American English and British English, at least for those that developed before WWI, developed explicitly to spite the British.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

A sentence ends with a full stop so the closing quotes are not part of the sentence anymore in my opinion. That is, unless it is a stop for the text inside the quotes.

REVISED: I have revised this post based on the link to the Oxford Dictionaries provided by AJ below.

As far as I know:
* both BrE and AmE use the same punctuation for dialogue (Brits may prefer single quote marks but Americans always use double)
* both BrE and AmE retains punctuation marks other than commas and full stops from the original text for quotes
* AmE uses commas and periods inside end quotation marks for quotes, in the same way as for dialogue
* BrE uses commas and periods outside end quotation marks for quotes

Ernest Bywater

@Keet

A sentence ends with a full stop so the closing quotes are not part of the sentence anymore in my opinion.


The apostrophes used to indicate the dialogue are not part of the sentence of what they're marking, thus they go on the outside of the dialogue to show it's dialogue in much the same way as you put the quotation marks outside of what a person says when you quote them. Think of the dialogue apostrophes as the frame for the picture of the dialogue inside them.

I was taught English in the 1960s under the UK system, and I was taught to put the punctuation inside the apostrophes. I've even got a lot of books printed in England during the 1930s to 1980s as well as lots printed in the USA during that time, and they all have the punctuation inside of the apostrophes, so I'm not sure where or when the concept of putting the punctuation outside came from or when it started.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Keet
REP

@Dominions Son

developed explicitly to spite the British.


The Age of Prescriptivism was ongoing during the 18th century. I don't know when it began or ended. My understanding, from what little I've read, is that this was a movement throughout the 18th century to codify the rules of English grammar.

I suspect that when the colonies split from England, this movement continued in the US and England. Spite may have been part of what led to the differences between the American and British rules of grammar. However, the typical conflict between two groups of Americans over the proper way to write American English was probably common back then between the people involved in codifying the English language. This type of conflict probably led to our forefathers deciding to follow what they thought was the "proper" way to write the English language. Thus the American and English groups followed separate paths and generated two sets of grammar rules.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

This is Oxford Dictionaries' take, although it's not written for easy comprehension :(

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/punctuation/inverted-commas-quotation-marks

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I find that article interesting in a number of ways, AJ.

First, I've never heard them called inverted commas before, most often they're called apostrophes and sometime quotation marks or quote marks.

Second, while the UK English prefer the single apostrophes for dialogue and the US prefer the double apostrophes, I've always seen them on the outside of the punctuation when used for dialogue of quotes.

Third, when single apostrophes are used to designate a title or nickname, then it would be appropriate for them to go inside of the punctuation for the sentence as they're part of the word they bracket. Thus you could have:

narration: His name was Jim, but he was called 'Slippery'.

Dialogue: John said, "His name was Jim, but we all called him 'Slippery'."

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I've never heard them called inverted commas before


In certain font types the character used for smart quotes, sometimes called curly quotes, resemble upside-down commas.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

In certain font types the character used for smart quotes, sometimes called curly quotes, resemble upside-down commas.


That's true of most fonts, however, that doesn't explain why the article called them inverted commas, a term I've never heard applied to them before. Since it's an article by a dictionary site I have to wonder how well educated the person who wrote it is because they don't call them apostrophes which is the proper grammatical punctuation name, while quote marks and quotation marks is appropriate to call them when used around quoted material.

Replies:   REP
rustyken

@REP

The opening quote appears at the start of the dialog, not at the end of the dialog.

SOL does not use smart quotes, so the opening and closing quote are the same symbol. Now if you were talking about a typing error in a story posted on another site, then yes you could have seen a opening smart quote at the end of the dialog.


This story was posted here on SOL.

As to smart quotes on SOL, in this story my browser shows smart quotes.

But the issue I was raising was in regard to the sequence. That is the dialog ended with ", {for symbols as text it is (quote)(comma)(space)}

Anyway I guess it is my problem, as it doesn't seem to bother the author.

Cheers

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@rustyken

As to smart quotes on SOL,


It used to be plain quotes were all that's allowed, but I seem to remember Lazeez saying early this year that smart quotes were now allowed.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Doesn't inverted mean upside down.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Out of curiosity, I posted smart quotes into the text box in the forum. Nothing was visible where I had inserted the quote characters. Any idea if it is just in stories or is it a feature that can be turned on-off?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Doesn't inverted mean upside down.


Yes, and in some fonts the smart quotes do look like commas rotated 180 degrees and moved to the top of the character space, but that only applies to one end as the other end looks like normal commas shifted to the top of the character space. Then you've many fonts where the smart quotes are a simple line like the normal quotes but at an angle. Either way you slice it, there's no way you can call all of the apostrophes inverted commas and prior to that article mentioned I'd never heard them called that.

Apostrophes, single apostrophes, double apostrophes, quote marks, quotations marks, rabbit ears - yes, I've heard all of them applied, and the technical grammatical term is apostrophe for the punctuation mark in question.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Ernest Bywater

@REP

Any idea if it is just in stories or is it a feature that can be turned on-off?


I don't know about in the forum, as I didn't look into that. But about a year or so ago there was a forum discussion going on about formatting various punctuation marks in the stories and a comment was made about only straight quotes were accepted by the SoL Submission Wizard, and Lazeez gave one reply where he stated he now had the Wizard accepting smart quotes in the stories.

I know this is true because when I first started posting I ran into major issues with the Wizard due to the smart quotes and my SoL preparation involved replacing them with straight quotes, but my latest stories have all been submitted using smart quotes and they were accepted OK. This is also true of the revised stories where I used smart quotes in the master file. So, if you see straight quotes in any of my stories now it's because it hasn't been revised and re-posted since this change or the master file uses straight quotes - this is true of Shiloh as Mike only used straight quotes.

This is all within the file the author submits and it is not something the reader can set.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

I seem to remember Lazeez saying early this year that smart quotes were now allowed.

He has clarified recently that:
* all non-printable characters are changed to a space
* all printable characters are left unchanged

Keet

@Ernest Bywater

The apostrophes used to indicate the dialogue are not part of the sentence of what they're marking, thus they go on the outside of the dialogue to show it's dialogue in much the same way as you put the quotation marks outside of what a person says when you quote them. Think of the dialogue apostrophes as the frame for the picture of the dialogue inside them.

Exactly, and that means that a full-stop for a sentence should be after the 'frame'. The dialog-with-frame is in total a part of the sentence, not? So no reason to put the full stop for the sentence inside the 'frame', it is to close the sentence, not the dialogue inside the frame. (Unless the dialogue itself includes a full stop but that doesn't mean the sentence should not have a full stop.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

Is there a reason to use smart quotes instead of straight (ascii) quotes? Is there a benefit? I can't think of any reason other then that I personally find the regular straight quotes better looking but I'm sure sure others find the smart quotes better looking.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Is there a benefit?


They look nicer and are easier to spot while the straight apostrophes can get easily missed.

Replies:   Keet
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Exactly, and that means that a full-stop for a sentence should be after the 'frame'.


Except your example above would only apply if there is no punctuation with the dialogue at all, thus there should be no full stop at all. In dialogue where you use the apostrophes to indicate speech the full stop is part of the dialogue sentence and thus comes inside of the frame. The frame is the final part with everything else inside it, except the wall it hangs on (read page here).

Well, that's how I was taught under the UK system as it was taught in Australia during the 1960s.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

They look nicer and are easier to spot while the straight apostrophes can get easily missed.

I don't find them nicer, often they appear a little to pronounced as if they are in bold text. But that's a personal opinion. That's what I like about the simple straight apostrophes, even the single quotes are easy to spot since both single and double apostrophes occupy white space.
As a programmer that does a lot of file conversions I really hate them, especially if they are mixed with straight quotes in the same file.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

Except your example above would only apply if there is no punctuation with the dialogue at all, thus there should be no full stop at all. In dialogue where you use the apostrophes to indicate speech the full stop is part of the dialogue sentence and thus comes inside of the frame. The frame is the final part with everything else inside it, except the wall it hangs on (read page here).

I understand what you are saying but I still don't see the logic of it. Logic would always end a sentence with a full stop, not closing quotes if there happens to be a quoted dialog at the end of the sentence. I understand that logic is not always the leading target in grammar rules but this one seems so obviously wrong to me that I just can't wrap my mind around it.
Seems I'm not the only one who thinks so and apparently it has caused several discussion over time: The Guardian 2011 - Mind your language. According to the article it also seems that some people think my 'logic' is horrible ;)

Ross at Play

@Keet

I still don't see the logic of it.

There is sufficient logic for both BrE and AmE to punctuate dialogue in exactly the same way.

I don't see any problem with a comma or full stop before and end quote mark indicating the sentence containing dialogue either continues on or it does not.

There are some other options available with the other pause marks: question mark, exclamation mark, colon, semi-colon, ellipsis, and dash. I find with all of those that thinking carefully about what the sentence means results in a choice of punctuation which satisfies the "rules".

I would agree with you that the AmE style of punctuating quotes in the same way as dialogue is not really logical. I prefer the BrE style which retains punctuation from the original source inside the (single) quotation mark. Still, I see no reason to ever end a sentence twice.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

I would agree with you that the AmE style of punctuating quotes in the same way as dialogue is not really logical. I prefer the BrE style which retains punctuation from the original source inside the (single) quotation mark.

I too certainly like the BrE style better, simply because it's generally more logical. And I certainly agree with retaining the original source in a quotation.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

I too certainly like the BrE style better, simply because it's generally more logical. And I certainly agree with retaining the original source in a quotation.

The other thing I like about the BrE style, and I'm not sure what Americans do, is that quotations may be separated from the main sentence with punctuation makes, but they don't have to be. It depends on whether the sentence introduces words from elsewhere or uses words from elsewhere to convey its own meaning. For example:

I agree with him, 'Do it this way.'

I 'do it this way', just as he says.

Ernest Bywater

@Keet

I understand what you are saying but I still don't see the logic of it. Logic would always end a sentence with a full stop, not closing quotes if there happens to be a quoted dialog at the end of the sentence.


I see 2 issues raised by you here.

1. Then punctuation to end the sentence belongs inside the punctuation to mark the start and end of the dialogue (the apostrophes).

2. The not ending the sentence within the apostrophes with any punctuation.

This is so wrong it's absurd they suggest it. If the quoted item has no punctuation it's not complete and thus an ellipsis is required to show it's incomplete, thus you punctuate the end of the quote.

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

First, I would never quote the Guardian as the epitome of grammar, and I don't understand why they claim it's widespread, unless they mean widespread among idiots who don't know proper grammar.
like the fool who calls apostrophes inverted commas.

Second, when you quote someone as against dialogue, you always include the entire quoted sentence within the quotation marks or you include an ellipsis to indicate the sentence is incomplete, and that is the punctuation mark you use to start or end the quote.

Thus if I were to quote only part of your sentence above in the in-line quotation style I'd say (as an example):

Keet wrote, "I understand what you are saying but ..."

Mind you, we're talking about the in-line quoting not the block quoting nor the dialogue.

With dialogue whatever you have your character saying is always complete to a proper punctuation mark of a full stop, comma, question mark, exclamation mark, etc. within the apostrophes used to show it's dialogue and not narrative.

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

However, today we have many ignorant fools in the media and on the Internet working at changing the rules because they don't remember them or understand them. That makes it hard to keep things straight for people who are learning from their txt msgs and the like, because they can't even spell properly.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Keet
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

I don't find them nicer, often they appear a little to pronounced as if they are in bold text.


That depends on the font used, as some are horrid while some are insipid, and some a re nice.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

like the fool who calls apostrophes inverted commas.


That's standard British English terminology - I was taught to be a fool at school.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

I see 2 issues raised by you here.

Maybe we have a misunderstanding here. What I think is logical:
Example quote 'I think logical.'
If that is the whole sentence than it is copied completely as is.
If it's a quote inside the middle of a sentence then it is copied as is.
If it's a part of a sentence at the end of that sentence then it is copied as is and I would close the sentence with another full stop.
My logical reasoning here is that the full stop inside the quote is part of the quote and the rule is to end a sentence with a full stop.
I would do exactly the same if the quote itself did not have a full stop in it. So my last example would have a single full stop after last quote.
Now I know that some grammar rules state differently and usually I adhere to those. But since I'm not a writer and don't have to justify myself to a book-buyer public I really don't care that much. If the person who reads my ramblings understands what I'm trying to say I have succeeded.
By the way: I think the same about a comma inside a quote: if that comma was not part of the original quote it has no business ending up inside the quote when the quote is placed inside a sentence.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

That's standard British English terminology


I was taught under the UK English system in the Australian schools and we never used it. I've a bunch of English grammar books printed in the UK for the UK educational system in the 1930s and they don't use it, it doesn't appear in any of the several printed dictionaries I have that start with the 1931 English Dictionary of the British Empire and cover most decades until the 1990s with most of the printed in the UK and few from the USA, yet none of them have the term Inverted commas in them at all.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

Maybe we have a misunderstanding here.


Possible. First let's split this into two arenas which are handled a little differently:

1. Quotes of other another or books.

2. Dialogue in a story.

If you want to come back to dialogue, we can do that later set of posts, I'll stay solely with quoting another here.

The rules are simple:

1. When you quote someone you put it inside the quote marks and include the punctuation exactly as it was in the original.

2. If what you quote does not end at a normal punctuation mark you end it with a ellipsis inside the quotation marks to show it isn't a finished sentence. This applies as much to the start as it does the end.

Thus when you take part of a sentence out of something to quote it you replace what you don't quote with an ellipsis and that's the closing punctuation mark for the quote.

Now, it is possible I'm not seeing something here, because I can't envision how you could have a complete quote that is not closed off with some sort of a punctuation mark or cut short and needing an ellipsis except it's a result of a typo.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

That's incredible.

I have two dead-tree dictionaries from the Oxford stable and they both list the term. Copyright dates are 1964 and 1999.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

If what you quote does not end at a normal punctuation mark you end it with a ellipsis inside the quotation marks to show it isn't a finished sentence.

This shows signs of becoming another of those situations where you go on and on asserting the same point, at greater and greater length, and not a chance in hell that you'll ever allow anyone else to have the last word.

I'll state my opinion once, briefly, and then butt out of this exchange.

* * *

It is utter nonsense to suggest that ellipses are in any way mandatory when quoting a sentence where the start or end are missing.

NOBODY DOES THAT!

I don't doubt that it has been suggested by various Grammar Nazis over the years, that you were taught that is correct, and that some writers wanting a rigorously formal style may do that; BUT I almost never see that being done in the formal writing I read.

Can you cite any references? Put up or shut up, will ya!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Oxford stable and they both list the term


So it looks like it's an Oxford term, and not anyone else's.

My son saw me reading this so he went to get his US printed International English dictionary and it has the term 'Inverted Comma' in it as a UK term for a Question mark. So that just throws some more fuel on the fire.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Now, it is possible I'm not seeing something here, because I can't envision how you could have a complete quote that is not closed off with some sort of a punctuation mark or cut short and needing an ellipsis except it's a result of a typo.


A quick Google found many sites supporting the idea that an abbreviated quote, or one not consisting of one or more complete sentences, should be propped up by ellipses. Perhaps the most recognisable to forum participants is Grammar Girl.

Some sites say that a leading ellipsis, to show the quote is not the start of a sentence, is unnecessary if the quoted text starts with a lower-case letter rather than a capital.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

So it looks like it's an Oxford term, and not anyone else's.


No, as I said it was a term I was taught in school. However I can accept that it's a term used only in the UK when we go out in the midday sun with our dogs.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play


Can you cite any references? Put up or shut up, will ya!


Try these

https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/ellipses.asp

Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ellipsis

Definition of ellipsis

1a : the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete

b : a sudden leap from one topic to another

2 : marks or a mark (such as … ) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/ellipsis

The omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.

https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=ellipsis

1.
a. The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding.
b. An example of such omission.
2. A mark or series of marks ( ... or * * * , for example) used in writing or printing to

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis_(narrative_device)

An ellipsis in narrative leaves out a portion of the story.

You may now return to your bucket of sand.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

However I can accept that it's a term used only in the UK when we go out in the midday sun with our dogs.


You're probably right it's UK specific, but that then begs the question why it never transferred over since we used UK printed text books for English when i was at school.

BTW since this came up I asked a high school teach of English and has a uni degree in English, and she'd no heard of the term, but found it in a Funk and Wagnals as a UK term for a question mark.

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

Just watch out for them lazy winds my Yorkshire born father used to complain about - - - they're so lazy the can't be bothered going around you, so they go straight through you, brrrr.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

but found it in a Funk and Wagnals as a UK term for a question mark.


The mind boggles.

We were taught that 'inverted commas' was a synonym, and could be used interchangeably with, 'speech marks'. Or as we schoolboys affectionately called them, 'screech marks'.

I'd never heard of the term 'smart quotes' until computers and MS Word came along.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

You may now return to your bucket of sand.

If you are going to descend into personal insults, I will resort to calm statements of facts to prove what a moron you are being.

This is the statement by you that I say is UTTER BULLSHIT, in particular, point #2 stating that an ellipsis is required to show a quote has been cut off at a point other than a punctuation mark.

The rules are simple:

1. When you quote someone you put it inside the quote marks and include the punctuation exactly as it was in the original.

2. If what you quote does not end at a normal punctuation mark you end it with a ellipsis inside the quotation marks to show it isn't a finished sentence. This applies as much to the start as it does the end.

You have just cited a number of references. THEY ALL SAY YOU ARE WRONG!

They all say is that ellipses are required to show omissions, i.e. word(s) cut out from the middle of the quote.

One mentions that they may be used to show the beginning of a sentence has been omitted but goes on to say that is not essential.

They only mention ellipses are needed at the end of something when the original speaker or writer trails off their words or thought - not when someone quoting words from elsewhere merely ends their quote somewhere other than at a punctuation mark.

I've got my references all ready to quote - in full - back at you to support what I'm saying, but let's first establish whether there's anything at all in any of those references you provided links to which supports your "rule" #2 above.

WHAT WORDS IN ANY OF THOSE REFERENCES SUPPORT YOUR ASSERTION?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I'd never heard of the term 'smart quotes' until computers and MS Word came along.


I first heard the term smart quotes soon after the introduction of the IBM Selectric Typewriter with golf ball heads having different fonts available for use. Not sure how long it may or may not have been in use then.

The Selectric 2 left the old Underwood and Remington manuals typewriters for dead.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

The Selectric 2 left the old Underwood and Remington manuals typewriters for dead.

I used a manual, non-electric typewriter all though College, almost to 1970. Most poor students didn't have Selectric typewriters. I never had a Selectric as I had a computer with printers when I retired my old typewriter.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


If you are going to descend into personal insults,


I didn't, but you went to your usual attack style in your previous opening remarks.

Now I suggest you go back and read the lines that say:

An ellipsis in narrative leaves out a portion of the story.

The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding.

marks or a mark (such as … ) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause.

Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.

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

The original post I responded to was all about not having any punctuation at the end of the quoted section, so I focused my response on that aspect. But it appears that was outside of your comprehension level.

Now please follow up on your early statement of:

I'll state my opinion once, briefly, and then butt out of this exchange.

typo edit to turn an into and

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

I used a manual, non-electric typewriter all though College, almost to 1970. Most poor students didn't have Selectric typewriters. I never had a Selectric as I had a computer with printers when I retired my old typewriter.


Most of my early typing was on an old manual Remington from the 1930s But my sister was given a Selectric 2 when she went to uni in the early 1970s, so i got to see how they worked.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

An ellipsis in narrative leaves out a portion of the story.

The omission of a word or phrase necessary for a complete syntactical construction but not necessary for understanding.

marks or a mark (such as … ) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause.

Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.

These quotes all say omission - FROM THE MIDDLE - not just because something has been cut off abruptly.

One of them mentions one situation where ellipses are be required before an ending quote mark, with the words "complete syntactical construction".

THE FACT OF THE MATTER is that an ellipsis is required at the end of a quotation to show it has been "deliberately left grammatically incomplete".

This is what CMOS 13.50 and 13.53 say about the situation (in full):

13.50 When not to use ellipsis points.
Ellipsis points are normally not used (1) before the first word of a quotation, even if the beginning of the original sentence has been omitted; or (2) after the last word of a quotation, even if the end of the original sentence has been omitted, unless the sentence as quoted is deliberately incomplete (see 13.53).

13.53 Deliberately incomplete sentence.
Three dots are used at the end of a quoted sentence that is deliberately left grammatically incomplete.

Everyone knows that the Declaration of Independence begins with the words "When, in the course of human events. . ." But how many people can recite more than the first few lines of the document?


Have you had a chance to look at the example beginning "The spirit of our American radicalism. . ."?


Note that no space intervenes between a final ellipsis point and a closing quotation mark.

After such conclusive proof, I will butt out of this now, to allow us all to see if, for once in your life, you are capable of admitting you were wrong, or even just shutting up and saying no more.

Keet
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

2. If what you quote does not end at a normal punctuation mark you end it with a ellipsis inside the quotation marks to show it isn't a finished sentence.

I get the ellipsis, I sometimes use them myself. I doubt they are mandatory but what I stated was about leaving the original quote intact, so not adding a full stop or comma inside the quote. The ellipsis just says that there is more text in the quote but not relevant to the essence of the quote.
I really doesn't matter to me, it's just the way I look at it and see some grammar construction looking wrong.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

I really doesn't matter to me, it's just the way I look at it and see some grammar construction looking wrong.


I agree with you it looks wrong.

Also, I can't see how you can get a quote without closing punctuation of any sort unless it's a partial quote requiring the indication of it being incomplete or the item being quoted has a typographical error at it's end due to a missed punctuation mark.

When you quote someone who is speaking the person transcribing the words automatically places a full stop or other relevant punctuation mark at the end as well as other appropriate points. When you quote from a written text you transfer the text as is, so it shows with the punctuation or it's an incomplete quote that needs to be shown as having missing text. Thus I just can't see how you get a quote without the punctuation or indication of missing content.

Anyway, we agree the quote as originally given without closing punctuation looks extremely wrong.

REP

@Keet

I still don't see the logic of it.


There is no logic behind punctuation and the closing quote. If there was then all punctuation would be within or outside the closing quote.

Currently commas go inside the closing quote. Semicolons and periods belong outside the quote; unless the material inside of the quote ends in a period. I can see no logic behind these "rules".

helmut_meukel
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


[...] in some fonts the smart quotes do look like commas rotated 180 degrees and moved to the top of the character space, but that only applies to one end as the other end looks like normal commas shifted to the top of the character space


The smart quotes are different in other languages:

in English they are on the top of the character space and look like 66....99, while in German and some other germanic and slavic languages the opening quotes are down in the comma position and the closing quotes are up and they look like 99....66.



Funny are the chevrons still used in german book printing: they are like the Guillemets used in French and other roman languages but pointing inward.

BTW, 'inverted commas' is one of the (English) names in this wikipedia table.

99...66 or 66...99 are most used, while a few use 99...99. I found none using 66..66.

HM.

Edit: Sorry, somehow the link to Wikipedia I provided was cut from my post and I didn't notice earlier.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Summary_table

helmut_meukel

@awnlee jawking

found many sites supporting the idea that an abbreviated quote, or one not consisting of one or more complete sentences, should be propped up by ellipses.


I can see ambiguities in both cases:
1) if you quote something incompletely, that is omitting something at the start or the end - or more seriously in the midth - of the quoted text you should denote the omission.
2) using the ellipsis might be problematic, the original text might already contain ellipses. How to distinguish between the ellipes already in the cited text and your own used for omissions?

The solution is to enclose your own ellipses in brackets like this: [...]

HM.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

A quick Google found many sites supporting the idea that an abbreviated quote, or one not consisting of one or more complete sentences, should be propped up by ellipses.

Can we take one step back and ask why ellipses are used in quotations at all?

CMOS 13.48 says, 'Such ommissions are made of material that is considered irrelevant to the discussion at hand.' Later in 13.49 it says, 'particular care needs to be exercised when eliding text to ensure that the sense of the original is not lost or misinterpreted.'

I would say the reason for using ellipses is to protect the reputation of the person being quoted.
* whenever you cut anything out from the middle of what you are quoting you must show that you have been done
* whenever you have altered anything in the text you are showing you must put those alterations inside square brackets

The reason I would have for using ellipses at the start or end of a quotation is that the words I've chosen to show - to suit the needs of my discussion - appear to contain some sort of grammatical problem. Wanting to avoid my readers thinking the person I am quoting has made some error, I would use an ellipsis to show the point where my decision to cut the original has caused that apparent problem.

I don't consider it relevant whether I choose to quote complete sentences or not, and I have no obligation to show whether or not I have. I think the obligation is to ensure that if the words I am quoting appear to have some problem, I must show when my decision caused that by where I chose to cut, for my convenience.

I don't doubt that various style guides differ on this point, but CMOS is quite explicit that is all a writer needs to do when quoting someone else.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Adding on to my previous post, I see a distinction between inline quotes and block quotes.

For inline quotes, a writer does whatever is needed so their sentence, included the quoted material, makes grammatical senses. All fixes they make to the original to achieve that must be identified.

For block quotes, I think the expectation is that full sentences should be quoted, or at least parts of sentences that would constitute a valid complete sentence. I imagine some would say writers must identify when they begin or end their quote at a point other than the start or end of a sentence.

The source of some confusion on this matter might be advice that is only intended to apply to block quotes is interpreted as applying to inline quotes too.

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