2013-04-16

Periods and Commas Inside Quotations

I have written an open question to OWL Mail Tutors.


In America, a general rule to follow is to place periods and commas inside of quotations.
Ex: Many dream images were characterized as “raw,” “powerful,” and “evocative.”
Ex: To get to the next page, just press the little button marked "Enter."
In example one, the images were not really quoted as "raw-comma." That was not a choice on the theoretical multiple-choice test.
In the second example, the quote was "Enter.." But, now that I have used American markup, the reader thinks there are two periods after "Enter" instead of zero...

The only reasons I have been able to find why periods go inside quotations seems to be because "In the days when printing used raised bits of metal, '.' and ',' were the most delicate, and were in danger of damage (the face of the piece of type might break off from the body, or be bent or dented from above) if they had a '"' on one side and a blank space on the other. Hence the convention arose of always using '."' and ',"' rather than '".' and '",', regardless of logic" (http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm#footnote).
A few other sources also mentions this, but I haven't been able to find the real source yet. Or, why, if this is the case, then why are we not migrating to something more logical (we, as in APA and whatever OWL is referencing too)?

 - Danial Goodwin -
Student, University of South Florida
ps - I published this question on my blog (
http://anonsage.blogspot.com/2013/04/periods-and-commas-inside-quotations.html) and am hoping for an answer. Possibly one that I can link back towards.

Feel free to comment. I will update when I receive a response.

~ Simply Advanced ~



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