RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style

Subject: RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Margaret Cekis <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 16:36:43 -0400

[screwing pedantic hat firmly onto pointy head - squeek, squerk, skrik!]

Depending on how far back you go, I guess, it was the brass letter-molds that were individual characters, not the lead type that was molded from them.
The individual-character molds were set and clamped in a mold block (first, by hand, later in a LinoType) and the lead was poured into the narrow trench with the hollow letter forms at the bottom. When the lead cooled enough to be solid (still really hot, don't touch...), the mold was split and the single line of lead type was dumped out, already upside-down-backwards, and ready to be inked. That line of type was then set in a new type frame, along with the rest of the text, to go into the press.
About the only time you'd see a single character in lead type would be when the typesetter or layout guy had to adjust spacing (which was done by judicious snipping and shimming within a line) - anything to avoid having to go back to the Lino operator. That was fairly rare if you were dealing with experienced typesetters/LinoType operators, but even they missed occasionally, and the final guy in the chain had to catch the problem and correct it in lead. And everybody in the shop was breathing lead vapors, for a full working shift, every working day.

Oh... yes, individual characters might be set for large headlines, but not for running text, captions, etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Margaret Cekis
Sent: August-20-13 12:36 AM
To: 'Richard Hamilton'; 'TECHWR-L Writers'
Subject: RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style

Richard Hamilton asked about Punctuation in quotes -- American style ________________________________ Historically, the edict decreeing that all punctuation be placed inside of quotation marks was decreed not by grammarians but by America's newspaper typesetters (which probably predated the AP Style Guide). When every character and punctuation mark (of 10-pt newsprint type) was on a separate piece of lead, punctuation marks after quotation marks tended to get lost, so the typesetters made sure they were inside the quotes, whether that was logically or grammatically correct or not.

So, since now we do everything with computers, and the size of the punctuation marks in lead type is no longer an issue, I think we should punctuate according to the sense of the sentence, rather than for the typesetters' convenience. If that makes our text more like British English (which generally resisted this American affectation), so be it.
Margaret Cekis, Johns Greek GA

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Punctuation in quotes -- American style: From: Richard Hamilton
RE: Punctuation in quotes -- American style: From: Margaret Cekis

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