Re: Quote Marks

Subject: Re: Quote Marks
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 11:41:27 +0000

> > The sentence
> >
> > First select "Edit", and then select "Cut".
> >
> >is perfectly okay. I believe that likewise,

> As a former English teacher, I do NOT find the above sentence
> "okay." As a
> person now forced to dabble in tech editing (as a part of my
> contract job of production word processor), I have run across this
> use of comma/period with quotation marks. Is this, indeed,
> characteristic of technical writing? Or do the period and comma
> belong within the quote marks, per formal writing? (I hope for the
> latter; I hate to think that tech writing is also sloppy writing.)

> --
> Dot James in San Jose, CA "The secret of happiness is not
> doing dot -at- hpoemb05 -dot- sj -dot- hp -dot- com what one likes to do, but in
> liking dotjames -at- paladin-usa -dot- com what one has to do." --
> Sir James Barrie

It all depends on which style guide you use..... I remember in grad
school we had WARS over this issue!

In technical writing, one reason for leaving the period outside the
quotation marks is that a user does not SEE the period on the item in
the menu. It could be confusing in some situations, though probably
not in the example here. A better approach would be to leave off the
quotation marks and, if necessary, bold the words Edit and Cut. In
fact, I can't recall ever seeing any user guides that DID use
quotation marks for commands or menu items.

............................................................................
Jane Bergen
Technical Writer
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com or janeb -at- airmail -dot- net
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug" (Mark Twain)
............................................................................


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