Quotes and Commas Part 1 of 2

Subject: Quotes and Commas Part 1 of 2
From: "Dennis Hays/The Burden Lake Group, Ltd." <dlhays -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 20:48:24 -0500

I understand in this thread there may be stylistic differences. I try,
however, whenever possible to use some reference material so I can, at the
very least, be consistent.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition, 1993:

5.71 (Page 176)
Quotations--whether sentences, phrases, or words--incorporated within
sentences are punctuated according to the grammatical function they perform
within the sentence. Quotations serving as subjects, predicate nominatives,
or predicate adjectives, for example, are not set off by commas unless they
also serve as dialogue (see 5.74):

"Under no circumstances" was her rather surprising reply.

Morgenstern's favorite evasion was "If I only had the time!"

The ambassador was "not available for comment."

Spivekovski reported that Morgenstern was not only "indisposed" but
also "ina bad temper."

Note that if the quotation is a sentence, it ordinarily begins with a
capital letter; if it is a fragment, it does not.

5.72 (Page 177)
As in the case with appositives generally, appositives consisting of or
containing quotations are not set off by commas if they are restrictive but
are set off by commas if they are nonrestrictive:

Smiling shyly, Anna talked with our friend "the neoclassical scholar."

Morgenstern, "that irascibile invalid," was waiting for them at the

Marion observed Wilkins, the tall, sarcastic lawyer who "annoyed
everyone," entering the room.

If the quotation used as an appositive is a complete sentence, its terminal
punctuation is replaced by a comma if the appositive is nonrestrictive and
simply omitted if the quotation is restrictive:

With yet another aphorism, "Brevity is the soul of wit," Nunbush
launched himself into a long and dreary discourse.

The aphorism "Brevity is the soul of wit" was lost on Morgenstern,
who went on about Durwood's faux pas until everyone was weary of it.

5.73 (Page 177)
Quotations used as objects are not set off by commas unless they are also
used as dialogue (see 5.75-5.77):

Fiona was amused by the "elderly bearded bathers."

Fiona and her cousin watched the "bearded bathers" enter the
"choppy, cilly" water.

5.74 (Page 177)
A quotation functioning as a predicate nominative may sometimes also be
considered dialogue, in which case it is set off by a comma:

When Babs asked Morgenstern to drive her to the piazza, his reply
was, "Ah my dear, if only I had the time!"

-------------> Dennis Hays, The Burden Lake Group, Ltd.
-------------> Voice: 518/477-6388 Fax: 518/477-5006
-------------> E-Mail: dlhays -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
-------------> Quote from one of the Masters:
------------->"God doesn't want you to be certain. That's why He gave you a

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