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This Makes More Sense

Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"But when the question is posed by the sentence rather than by the speaker, logic demands that the question mark goes outside the inverted commas:
Why didn't Sophia see at once that his lordship dotedon her "to the highest degree of distraction"? "

I am not sure if anyone else feels this way, but I think the British style of punctuating with quotations is more understandable. I always have trouble placing my end punctuation. Should it be inside or outside of the quotations? But in the British style, it makes so much sense to why they do it this way that is shown above. Why is it that we didn't adapt this style over in America? Or did they not adapt our style? I guess I am just very interested in how very different the same language can actually be in the large scheme of things. The slang, the spelling, and the punctuation. It is all very thought provoking.


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Comments (4)

I agree. It is interesting. I too think that it could be easier to punctuate quotes the British way at times. I won't lie, though; I don't think I could change over at this point. Because of everything that's been drilled into our heads over the years, it simply doesn't look right when done that way. I honestly think I would constantly keep changing it back to the American way.

Derek Tickle:

I also feel the same way about punctuating at the end of a sentence. I always seem to question myself after I place the punctuation. It is also very interesting that the British have this different style of writing compared to us. As Jennifer stated in her comment to your blog, it would be difficult to change after all these years.


Is that really the British way to do it? I thought that you had to put the question mark outside the quotation marks if it wasn't part of the direct quote that you are quoting? But, maybe I'm wrong. It is tough though, especially since it looks so strange having it outside. But, it does make more sense, your right?


Earlier on in the section on the quotations she refers to the American style and the British style. It's on page 153, it says:

Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was "out of his senses". (British)
Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was "out of his senses." (American)

But maybe you are right about the direct quote, I really don't know for sure.

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