Author Topic: Quotation marks  (Read 1061 times)

Offline alienauthor

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Quotation marks
« on: March 24, 2009, 11:29:54 PM »
I was always taught when a character speaks that double quotation marks are used.   The last couple of books I've read have all single quotation marks.  Which of these do the publishers prefer? 8)
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Wolfe

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 12:34:03 AM »
In America, double quotes. In Europe, single quotes. The rule does flux between publishing houses. Their standard applies in all cases. Some authors get leeway with no quotes, but sell copy and win Pulitzer Prizes.

Expect to uphold the norm until you prove otherwise.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 12:46:14 AM by Wolfe »

sweetgirl09

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 05:24:36 AM »
Yes, it varies according to the house style decided on for a particular publication; there's no hard and fast rule. Generally you find that if speech is in 'single quotes', other phrases that need quote marks are in "double quotes", and vice versa, so they can be distinguished easily. But you don't need to worry what the publisher's house style is when you first send in a piece of work, or change it for each publisher you send to. If they like it, they'll sort it.

Offline alienauthor

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 02:04:53 PM »
Thanks, I suspected what I was reading was from overseas.  I'll stick with the double quotations.  I sincerely appreciate the replies. 8)

Mark
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Offline Nick

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 02:22:13 PM »
I would just add, whatever choice you make, be consistent about it. And use the alternative style of mark for quotes within quotes. Otherwise, though, use the same style throughout, even when using quotation marks for non-dialogue purposes as well.

Nick  :)
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Offline tudogz

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 10:35:19 PM »
In America, double quotes. In Europe, single quotes. The rule does flux between publishing houses. Their standard applies in all cases. Some authors get leeway with no quotes, but sell copy and win Pulitzer Prizes.

Expect to uphold the norm until you prove otherwise.

Wolfe

I recently read a novel by a very well respected writer; one which had won a prestigious prize. It had NO quotation marks at all. I found it a very hard read. I often had to re-read a paragraph to work out what was dialogue and what was narrative.
I can't believe the publisher didn't insist on quotes.
"Life is what happens to you as you're busy making other plans." John Lennon.

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: Quotation marks
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2019, 05:56:00 AM »
Cormac McCarthy never uses quotation marks for dialogue. That doesn't make him a bad writer - far from it. But you have to understand the rules in order to be able to break them. Sloppy punctuation is as inexcusable as sloppy spelling.