RE: Users vs. usage

Subject: RE: Users vs. usage
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <SGallagher -at- akonix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 13:09:38 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com [mailto:SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com]

> ...You are writing a System Functionality test...
> ...technophobic
> users, non-academically-inclined (i.e., often unaware of half
> the rules for
> grammatically-correct writing, and prone to avoid reading
> when possible)...
> ...The document convention (used consistently) is that
> literal text to be
> entered into a control during the test is enclosed in quotes...

> ...if it becomes necessary to include a comma after the
> quote-enclosed text ..., would you prefer
> to place it
> inside or outside of the quote marks?
> Grammar indicates it should go inside the quotes, clarity
> indicates it
> should go outside the quotes.

Correction -- *some* grammarians throw the comma inside the quotes.
Typically, putting the comma inside the quotes is called American-
style punctuation while putting the comma outside the quotes is
called British-style punctuation. My biggest geek-giggle was when
I read _The_Story_of_English_. Half way through the book the authors
announce that because the focus of language development shifted from
UK to the Americas, they'd now switch from British to American English,
which they did for spelling; but they blithly continued to punctuate
in British style.

Chicago 14 gives both options and points out that British style is often
clearer for technical info.

So, outside. Always.

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- akonix -dot- com

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