Re: Punctuation in quotes -- American style

Subject: Re: Punctuation in quotes -- American style
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 10:20:09 +0800 (WST)

Hi Richard -

> BTW, regarding Gene's note on style guides, this book is being published
> by my company, so beyond bowing in the general direction of the
> Chicago Manual of Style, as corporate overlord I do whatever I want:-).

That's true, though it can't hurt to know what relevant style guides say, as they influence readers' expectations.

This is what IBM Style has to say. I expect the style guides for other IT-industry publishers such as Microsoft, Apple, Sun and O'Reilly would have similar advice.

---
In most cases, place commas and periods inside closing quotation
marks, and place other punctuation marks outside.
Examples
- For more information, see the chapter named "Semantic tagging," which provides examples and a tutorial.
- She said, "You meet all the requirements for promotion."

Unless a punctuation mark is part of the syntax, do not place a
punctuation mark inside the quotation marks of these items:
- Coding statements
- Symbolic names
- Hexadecimal, binary, or octal values
- Other programming elements that use quotation marks
---

One last thought: both of your examples would work just as well without the quotation marks.

Set the value of the mode attribute to titleBelow.
Do not use the mode attribute when type=note.

If modes and types are always unambiguous, you might not need quotation marks or special formatting.

Stuart


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