Thursday, April 19, 2007

Question Marks And Quotation Marks

This issue just reared its ugly head while I was commenting on another blog (a momentary, but much needed diversion from an overly busy work schedule).

Here is how I was taught you should punctuate a question that includes a quotation:

Why the fuck did you call me an "asshole?"

Well, I think that sucks! It's awkward-looking and stupid, in my humble opinion. I would prefer:

Why the fuck did you call me an "asshole"?

I refuse to put the question mark inside the quotation marks, unless I'm quoting a question.

I'm a fucking grammar rebel.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy said...

Right on! I always thought that looked akward, too. It makes it look like someone called you an asshole, but with a questioning inflection. Asshole?

1:16 PM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

The question mark goes inside the closing quotation mark if it's part of the quoted material:

While chatting up Haahnster, Neil asked, "Do you rock?"

TThe question mark goes outside the closing quotation mark if it's not part of the quoted material:

Did you hear Neil say "You rawk, Haahnster."?

Signed,
"Another" blog

1:52 PM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I can't believe that each day I get to read a grammer rebel and a grammer professional's blogs.

I'm the luckiest boy in the world!

4:03 PM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

You are livin' La Vida Loca, aren't you, Kennedy?

7:54 PM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger haahnster said...

OK, so Jeremy and I aren't rebels. We just forgot the distinction Beth listed here. So, in effect, by following my preference (and thinking I was a rebel), I was actually getting it right. Cool.

PS - I only went with "another blog" due to time limitations. I had already depleted my "free" time being clever in your comments section.

KK: You one lucky-@ss mo-fo.

8:57 AM, April 20, 2007  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Did they change the rules?? Ok, I'm reaching for Strunk...

10:58 AM, April 20, 2007  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I so agree with you on that one!

12:14 PM, May 01, 2007  

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