Using Punctuation in and out of Quotes

Subject: Using Punctuation in and out of Quotes
From: Justin Ressler <JRessler -at- ewa-denver -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2004 08:20:04 -0700

It is likely that this has been hashed out before, so feel free to respond only off list.

Brief research indicates that there is a difference between American usage and other countries (primarily British controlled territories) of punctuation inside of quotation marks. It is something that I have concerns over in my own writing, not just technical writing. Is there a more widely way of doing this, or is the preferred method your own as long as you are consistent?

I am more apt to follow logic than silly conventions based on the printing press, if that is truly why we Americans do it that way. I read most of my information from the site listed below. it says

*There are peculiar typographical reasons why the period and comma go inside the quotation mark in the United States. The following explanation comes from the "Frequently Asked Questions" file of alt.english.usage: "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." This seems to be an argument to return to something more logical, but there is little impetus to do so within the United States.



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