Thursday, May 14, 2009

rules of English quotation marks

D: huh. I just learned something new...

The placement of question marks with quotes follows logic. If a question is in quotation marks, the question mark should be placed inside the quotation marks.

Examples: She asked, "Will you still be my friend?"
Do you agree with the saying, "All's fair in love and war"?

Here the question is outside the quote.

D: The concept of nestled punctuation can be expanded with proper design.

Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes.
Note that the period goes inside all quote marks.

Example: He said, "Danea said, 'Do not treat me that way.'"

D: I plan to incorporate these nuances into HIOXian.

Update: having inherited some money, I am ordering the 300 page instructions on my font editor. I am also ordering a more concise book on the subject.
This effectively doubles the price of the product.
I am afraid that reading a 300 page PDF is just not the same to a hidebound academic like me!

D: one more aside.
The worst thing ever to happen to English just might be the apostrophe.
Nobody but nobody knows how to use it!
It *could* be fairly clear.
It is not though.

Compare: mine, yours, his, hers, its, theirs.
Of course, some add an "S", while some do not.
In this respect, the archaic "'tis" is more clear than "it's".
However, confusion over whether an S ending means an apostrophe would remain.

The simplest solution is Esperanto's.
Just lose all the grammatical forms that use apostrophes.

E.g. The X of the Y.

"...le adherentes de Esperanto"
NEVER Esperanto's adherentes.

This approach can be used in English writing - and should be by the vast majority of people. Ironically, the truncations unacceptable in a formal essay are known only by those who write formal essays.

E.g. The adherents of Esperanto.
Versus Esperanto's adherents.

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