RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style

Subject: RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tiburoninc -dot- com>
To: Richard Hamilton <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>, TECHWR-L Writers <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:08:14 +0000

This is one of these issues that can inspire vigorous debate on finding the middle ground between honoring punctuation rules versus aiming for ultimate clarity. But in reality, its not going to make much different to the end user.

If you follow the punctuation rule, I don't think users will be confused about what to do, since, if I understand this correctly, they are selecting options from a list, rather than entering values by typing. In other words, readers will ignore the period.

Putting the period after the 2nd quotation mark keeps the name of the value distinct and accurate; and I doubt readers will give a toss... or even notice... that strictly speaking, the period is out of place.

So its really your call. Personally, I'd put the period outside the marks.

To avoid this type of issue, I format references to UI components that you perform actions on, or that you select, in bold, instead of using quotation marks.


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tiburoninc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Richard Hamilton
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 1:51 PM
To: TECHWR-L Writers
Subject: Punctuation in quotes -- American style

American-style punctuation calls for periods and commas to appear inside quotation marks.

No question on the general rule.

The question is, are there circumstances where you would break that rule?

For example, consider the following sentences:

Set the value of the mode attribute to "titleBelow."

Do not use the mode attribute when type="note."

I'm still inclined to bring the punctuation inside the quote, thought that second one gives me pause, but I'm open to other interpretations and your thoughts on when this rule can/should be broken.

Best Regards,
Richard Hamilton
-------
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net




-------
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net





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Punctuation in quotes -- American style: From: Richard Hamilton

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