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In looking over sample chapters of indie writers on Amazon.com, I noticed several books use single quotation marks to indicate someone talking, and only use double quotation marks when someone talking quotes someone. Is this something new? Is it foreign? I'm just curious. Anyone know? Thanks.
 

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loraininflorida said:
In looking over sample chapters of indie writers on Amazon.com, I noticed several books use single quotation marks to indicate someone talking, and only use double quotation marks when someone talking quotes someone. Is this something new? Is it foreign? I'm just curious. Anyone know? Thanks.
Standard British punctuation. :)
 

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Yeah, it is frustruating at first, but I quickly look past it. I see that the kindle LOTR uses that type of punctuation, but I don't remember it in copies I read as a kid. Is it something usually corrected for american releases and they just stopped bothering for e-books?
 

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As an editor, I've learned the many different punctuation "quirks" of non-U.S. writers.

One of the first questions I have for a new non-U.S. client is, "Do you want your book Americanized?" ("Americanized" is just a term I made up and includes changing punctuation and/or language to better fit what Americans expect to find in a book.)

I get different responses each time.  :D ;)
 

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I use British spellings and terms in Blood Faerie, since it's essentially a British book, but having been born in the US, I just can't do the single-quotes thing.  :D It's just about the only adjustment I haven't made to my new homeland!
 

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nomesque said:
Standard British punctuation. :)
Not in my England, it isn't.

This is how we were taught to write in England. Perhaps we were the only school in the country to do so? ;D

"What do you mean, the English use single quotation marks?" Emma said. "I remember quite clearly from my schooldays, Ms Murray always said, 'Use double quotation marks when signifying someone is speaking'. Is it clear?"

"Is that what she said?"

"Yes. And I got an A+ in English at GCSE and A Level, and no one ever picked up on it and corrected me. Nor do any of the books I read by English authors ever use single marks. In fact, this is an American convention, by my observation."

Maybe we learned American conventions at our top of the league tables school - I don't know why - but the exam board never challenged it, and their examples had double quotation marks. Just looking through some books now, and it's the same. So, my question is, why does Wiki say Americans use double and English single?

??? ??? ??? ???
 
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ilyria_moon said:
Not in my England, it isn't.

This is how we were taught to write in England. Perhaps we were the only school in the country to do so? ;D
That's how we were taught to do it, so your school wasn't the only one. Looking through my book shelves, about equal numbers of books use the single or double quotes.
 

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I've not seen any British published books that have anything but single quotation marks. The American ones all use double. I think what's taught in schools might differ from publishing practice. I don't even notice now whether it's double or single. It shouldn't matter to a reader.
 

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barbara elsborg said:
I've not seen any British published books that have anything but single quotation marks. The American ones all use double. I think what's taught in schools might differ from publishing practice. I don't even notice now whether it's double or single. It shouldn't matter to a reader.
How strange! For me, it's the other way round. All the English literature I have has double quotation marks, all the American, single. Perhaps publishers release editions in both forms.
 

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nomesque said:
Standard British punctuation. :)
Yep. What he said. It's how I learned it and I still (along with the punctuation inside the quotes thing) often correct myself when writing for a US audience.

In fact, this is an American convention, by my observation.
Not sure who you have been observing but you might want to run that one by CMOS. ;)
 

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Yeah, I figure Tolkein, if the single quotations is in his original texts, is correct.

Seems to me that you lose some level of information just doing single quotes, as I think you could write:

An american person said, "I was talking to a british guy today and he said, 'We always use single quotes around our dialogue' to me, how odd of a thing to do, don't you think?"

and it shows with a bit more clarity who exactly is saying what.
 

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Interesting. As a World War II historian, I often read older books, both fiction and nonfiction, and coming from both sides of the pond. A glance through the bookcase shows that most of these, if printed in the UK or Germany, use single quotes. Only Helion (West Midlands) and the US publishers used doubles.

I'd never noticed, so I can't say it matters.
 

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I use double quotes. The only time I will use single quotes outside of quoting within a quote is when I write a character's internal monologue.
 

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ilyria_moon said:
Not in my England, it isn't.

This is how we were taught to write in England. Perhaps we were the only school in the country to do so? ;D
My apologies... I probably should have said, "standard British publisher punctuation," which would be closer to accurate. I dare say some British publishers use double quotes as their standard, though, too. :)
 

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What drives me nuts in when they do something completely different. For instance, I think The Good Earth used something like this when I read it in high school:

--I'm going to sleep.
--So soon? Betty asked.
Ned Nodded. --Yes. I'm tired.
--Okay. See you in the morning.

Yes, I know those names and dialog aren't even close. It's just an example.
 
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