Re: Comma splQuote Marks (Was: )

Subject: Re: Comma splQuote Marks (Was: )
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 11:00:31 -0800

>> 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.)

What you see is common punctuation, but British, not American English.
It is, however, winning popularity with many technical writers because
they believe that it communicates more clearly than the Americal style
of punctuation.

*My* goal, as a technical writer, is to communicate an idea and to
introduce *as little confusion as possible* into the communication
process. If this involves bending the rules of formal grammar, so
be it.

As far as the comma spice examples are concerned, "and then" seems
redundant and wordy to me. I'd remove the "and". Otherwise, as long
as the sentence conveys the point effectively, it's ok.

And, sorry, to the second poster, that you're "forced to dabble in
technical writing". Some of us actually *like* this stuff.

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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