1. European Union compliance message: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Your Most Challenging Question Of Grammar?

By Lance Rocks, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Lance Rocks

    Lance Rocks Never Force

    Mine comes when the end of a sentence calls for an end-stop mark directly adjacent to a close-quote mark--
    what's yours?

    AMERICAN
    Isn't this called "mellow yellow?"

    BRITISH
    Isn't this called "mellow yellow"?

    The British form makes logical sense, but the American practice is so embedded within my brain I can't stop using it. Help!

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE
    Didn't she say, "Stop it?"
    Didn't she say, "Stop it"?
    Didn't she say "Stop it!"?
     
  2. Jay Dougherty

    Jay Dougherty Well Worn

    I research usage issues on a daily basis, partly because of my job and partly out of interest. Trying to find knowledgeable sources online is often surprisingly difficult. Here's one place I've tried with some success:

    https://english.stackexchange.com/

    Note that I'm not talking about finding answers to questions that can easily be researched by opening your typical manual of grammar and punctuation.
     
    Lance Rocks likes this.
  3. Jan Harper

    Jan Harper Well-Known Member

    The american way seems completely crazy! :eek:
     
    Lance Rocks likes this.
  4. Lance Rocks

    Lance Rocks Never Force

    Exactly, and thank you, Jan. The British mode is eminently logical...but I can't force myself to use it! Perhaps in consolation, I've recently adopted "whilst" to replace certain forms of the American "while."
     
  5. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member

    Isn't this called "mellow yellow"?

    That's how I learned it, Lance.

    Had no idea it was British.
     
  6. Frank Bulb

    Frank Bulb Well-Known Member

    Yep, agree with Maggie, the quoted "mellow yellow" isn't a question in itself.  One might say in a conversation, "mellow yellow?"

    E.G. He asked her, "mellow yellow?"
     
  7. Frank Bulb

    Frank Bulb Well-Known Member

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE
    Didn't she say, "Stop it?"
    Didn't she say, "Stop it"?
    Didn't she say "Stop it!"?


    This one much more tricky, Lance!
     
    Jay Dougherty likes this.
  8. Frank Bulb

    Frank Bulb Well-Known Member

    Lance, can I be frank?  Are you playing some sort of psychological game here?  You've left quite obvious commas out on the top examples and then written a more complex perfectly punctuated example (or more or less) below it?
     
  9. Lance Rocks

    Lance Rocks Never Force

  10. David Belcher

    David Belcher Don't forget to be Awesome

    I have to admit I've been doing things the American way and I'm British. It's what I was taught but my trusty guide to punctuation (always in arms reach) tells me the logical way is correct. The conventional way can cause confusion. If a punctuation mark is a part of the quote then it goes inside the quotation marks, if not then it goes outside the quotation marks.
     
  11. Jay Dougherty

    Jay Dougherty Well Worn

  12. maggie flanagan-wilkie

    maggie flanagan-wilkie Well-Known Member

    What a great site, Jay.  Just joined. Would love to read more, but sleep is calling. Have a good day.
     
    Jay Dougherty likes this.