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Author Topic: Punctuating this  (Read 745 times)  

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Punctuating this
« on: September 21, 2017, 01:03:48 PM »
This is how I had it originally:

Quote
"If he wanted me in bed, all he had to say was come on."

Quote
"I'll go with you and tell him here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem."

My editor said that "come on" in the first one and "here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem." in the second one should be in single quotes, but it looks strange to me with it being at the end of the sentence. Although I think as is, it doesn't look right either. Maybe an em dash or something? I'm at a loss.

Online Jena H

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 01:08:48 PM »
"If he wanted me in bed, all he had to say was 'come on.'"
Or:  "If he wanted me in bed, all he had to do was ask."


"I'll go with you and tell him, 'here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem.'"
Or:  "I'll go with you.  If he wants to take the woman I'm in love with, he'll deal with me."
Jena

Offline Greg Banks

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 01:11:15 PM »
An em dash would look strange, in my opinion. I've seen a single quote nested inside a double quote before, so I'm pretty sure that your editor is correct. But if it bothers you that much, the only other sensible solution would be to restructure the sentences. IMHO anyway.
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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 01:13:16 PM »
This is how I had it originally:

My editor said that "come on" in the first one and "here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem." in the second one should be in single quotes, but it looks strange to me with it being at the end of the sentence. Although I think as is, it doesn't look right either. Maybe an em dash or something? I'm at a loss.

Your editor is right.

If you don't like it, you can try italics instead, which isn't technically correct, but might do the job.

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 01:49:26 PM »
"If he wanted me in bed, all he had to say was 'come on.'"
Or:  "If he wanted me in bed, all he had to do was ask."


"I'll go with you and tell him, 'here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem.'"
Or:  "I'll go with you.  If he wants to take the woman I'm in love with, he'll deal with me."

So it should be triple quotes on the end or just double, and the period goes inside all the quotes? Does it need a comma after "was" in the first one? I'm so confused on this one because nothing looks right. TBH, it looks better in italics, but I know that's not correct. Will I end up getting some complaints about bad punctuation? It's okay to break the rules if you know them, right (lol)?

Offline A Fading Street

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 01:59:38 PM »
I'd have to agree with your editor but I would also suggest rewriting to get rid of the odd looking triple dialogue marks.
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Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 03:13:31 PM »
Does anyone think I could get away with italics?

Quote
"If he wanted me in bed, all he had to say was come on."

"I'll go with you and tell him here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem."

I also have foreign language sprinkled through this and not italicized, so that might add to the likelihood of someone saying I don't know how to use italics. I don't really care if they complain in the reviews, but I'm kind of worried they might report it as messed up or something and get it taken down.


Online hardnox

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 03:29:08 PM »
Does anyone think I could get away with italics?

I also have foreign language sprinkled through this and not italicized, so that might add to the likelihood of someone saying I don't know how to use italics. I don't really care if they complain in the reviews, but I'm kind of worried they might report it as messed up or something and get it taken down.

I just finished Grisham's The Broker (2005), in which he gives a great portion of the book over to the MC's tutoring in Italian. No italics for the Italian words and phrases, and it works for readability. In this case, although his treatment could be considered indulgent, (the book reads too much like a travelogue for me), the absence of italics was probably his editor's decision. You might browse the book if you want an example.

My historical (first in sig) uses proper names, terms, and place names from ancient Sumerian. I chose my use of italics carefully because it's enough for the reader to deal with an alien culture, let alone italic breaks in the flow.

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Offline Monique

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 03:35:56 PM »
No on the italics as a replacement for single quotes.

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 03:50:52 PM »
Are we sure we can't use the em dash?

Quote
"If he wanted me in bed, all he had to say was -- come on."

Quote
"I'll go with you and tell him -- here, take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem."

It looks the most right to me?

Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 04:02:00 PM »
No em dash.

Is there a reason? It looks so much better.

Offline Monique

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 04:20:53 PM »
Is there a reason? It looks so much better.

Grammar.

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Online Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 04:22:06 PM »
I suggest you ignore the editor on the first one, because it reads smoothly. I'm not saying the editor isn't technically correct, just that it's not necessary for clarity and clarity is king. :)

Ah, I think you're right. I re-worded the second one to not need a quote. I'm not sure why it wasn't obvious to me in the first place (lol).

Quote
"I'll go with you and tell him to take the woman I'm in love with. It's no problem."

Offline WHDean

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 07:37:02 PM »
No, you don't need quotations, italics, or em-dashes. This is plain and simple indirect quotation. No one even said these words; it's all hypothetical.


Offline Dana L.

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Re: Punctuating this
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2017, 08:54:09 AM »
If you leave the first one without punctuating the 'come on,' it will stand out as incorrect to experienced readers. It is clearer, and correct to have single quotes around 'come on'. The resulting single and double quote marks at the end of the sentence is perfectly correct and will look normal to those familiar with good punctuation. Most in-experienced people will not even notice.

Your rewrite of the second one is great! No additional punctuation needed.