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#981011 - Fri Apr 26 2013 01:49 PM Reminder - Regional style differences
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33052
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
I just wanted to put a little reminder out there that on our site we accept both American and British English (and variants) in terms of spelling of course, but also style. This includes punctuation.

I have recently seen a few correction notes where the player is correcting the placement of punctuation (commas, periods) outside of quotation marks. This is perfectly acceptable in some styles of English (from what I've read, it is mostly British English users who do this). Not only are there regional differences on punctuation in/out of quotation marks and similar issues, but there can also be generational differences (i.e. it used to be taught one way, and now it's different). For example, schools in Canada and perhaps other Commonwealth countries may have more strongly enforced British English rules a few decades ago, but now maybe lean more towards American style.

There of course usages of punctuation in quotation marks where correct is correct, no matter which style you follow, such as when quoting a passage or writing dialogue.

For example:

1. Fred said, "I need to go to the store today."
2. "I can drive you," repled Sam.

In both of the above examples, the punctuation belongs inside the quotes, in either US or British usage. There are other situations when you can do it either/or. An editor *may* sometimes change your placement in quizzes if it stylistically makes better sense to do so, but generally we will accept both ways. One thing most of us editors seem to agree on is that punctuation belongs outside the quotes when the quotes are for identifying a title. This usage of quotation marks is our own FunTrivia style regardless of what any style guide out there may say, and it's generally preferred that if the punctuation is not part of the title, then it does not belong within the quotation marks.

E.g."

My favourite movie is "Toy Story".

not

My favourite movie is "Toy Story."

This is something that I personally always adjust in quizzes (but I won't send a quiz back for this reason, I'll just do it myself); other editors may not mind it either way and will leave it as you write. We are not one automated machine, we all have our own styles and preferences.

The main point I wanted to make here was to please not send correction notices on the issue of punctuation inside/outside quotation marks, unless it's a case where there is a universally correct way to do it, and to please be aware that not all grammar 'rules' that you may know and follow are universal.
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#981281 - Sun Apr 28 2013 03:11 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
gracious1 Offline
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Registered: Tue May 01 2012
Posts: 645
Loc: New York USA
That is interesting. I was taught (in America) that the British put the periods and commas outside the quotation marks, and the Americans put them inside. (Canada or Australia, I'm not sure about!) Your example would be American style, then, according to what I was taught. So is this the style that FT favors?

In both UK & US styles, colons & semi-colons go outside the quotation marks (so I was taught). Also in both styles, question marks and exclamation points go within the quotation marks when they are part of the quote, otherwise outside.

I believe that in technical writing the British way might be favored, even in America, because it is more logical and less ambiguous. But sometimes it looks funny to me. laugh Academic and journalistic writing still follow the American way in America, AFAIK.


Of course, I'm only talking about quotes, not using quotation marks in lieu of italics or underlining for titles. What you say about excluding punctuation makes sense, because the punctuation would not be underlined or italicized if not part of a title.


Edited by gracious1 (Sun Apr 28 2013 03:21 AM)

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#981286 - Sun Apr 28 2013 04:36 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
looney_tunes Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 20 2009
Posts: 2927
Loc: Briar Hill Victoria Australia 
Fun Trivia is happy with either US or UK usage, but we ask that whichever is chosen be used consistently in the quiz, just as is the case for spelling.
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#981290 - Sun Apr 28 2013 07:13 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11452
Loc: Western Canada
Just a note on consistency. We do ask for consistency within a quiz, but not specifically that you be entirely style consistent.

For example, I'm an older Canadian. This means, in practical terms, that both American and British styles, and, especially, spellings, look 'right' to me. I use both. It's OK, for FT, for me to use 'colour' and 'organization' - one British, and one American spelling. What I shouldn't do is use 'colour' in one paragraph and 'color' in the next. Same with the punctuation - I can put it inside or outside the quotation marks, but not skip from one to the other within the quiz. I can, though, make some other stylistic choice - double or single quotation marks, say - that doesn't have to 'match'.

Did that clarify things, or muddy the waters?

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#981294 - Sun Apr 28 2013 07:42 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33052
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Quote:
That is interesting. I was taught (in America) that the British put the periods and commas outside the quotation marks, and the Americans put them inside. (Canada or Australia, I'm not sure about!) Your example would be American style, then, according to what I was taught. So is this the style that FT favors?


Do you mean the Fred and Sam dialogue example? That's interesting, I googled around before posting this and everything I consulted indicated that in this case, the punctuation (whether comma, period, question mark, etc.) goes inside the quotes in both British and American style.

From what I've learned, it's when giving partial quotes or using quotes for emphasis when there is an inside/outside difference, e.g.

My boyfriend said he needs his "personal space," whatever that means.

My boyfriend said he needs his "personal space", whatever that means.

The first one looks wrong to me personally but is the American standard. Both would be acceptable. This is the type of example that I've been seeing CNs from American players saying that the comma needs to be inside the quotation marks but either is acceptable on our site.


Edited by guitargoddess (Sun Apr 28 2013 07:43 AM)
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#981324 - Sun Apr 28 2013 09:41 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
rossian Offline
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 1437
Loc: Merseyside UK 
GG's examples - "I can drive you," replied Sam.

and

Fred said, "I need to go to the store today."

to me, as a Brit, both look wrong.

I would write "I can drive you", replied Sam. on the basis that only the quote goes inside the quotation marks, followed by a pause (indicated by the comma) then the end of the sentence.

Similarly, I would put "I need to go to the store today". The quotation is enclosed in the quotation marks, then the full stop (period) completes the sentence.

Of course, I would normally put the quotes like this: 'I can drive you', but that just complicates it further...
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#981338 - Sun Apr 28 2013 10:30 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11452
Loc: Western Canada
Yes, that's why we allow both - they are both right but can look wrong depending on where you are from and how old you are.

We see a lot of CNs about this type of issue and would really like everyone to be aware that there is more than one way to be right.

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#981344 - Sun Apr 28 2013 11:26 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33052
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Rossian's example is totally not the way that I learned what the 'British' way is, but yes definitely illustrates that there are differences and we'll accept different ways. For quiz authors too though, keep in mind that these differences aren't as well known as say the colour/color difference, so please don't be offended in an editor changes your punctuation placement to the way that they're used to. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal and will not at all change the meaning of your sentence, but it's not something that we need large amounts of invalid CNs for
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#981348 - Sun Apr 28 2013 12:08 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
rossian Offline
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Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 1437
Loc: Merseyside UK 
I wasn't disagreeing at all with the purpose of your post, but was a little surprised to see your examples described as the 'British way'. On the other hand, it's many years since I was at school and the modern style may well be as you were taught, GG. I can't say I've noticed it, though, and I do read a lot of novels.

The reminder that spelling, punctuation and style has more than one acceptable version is welcome. I can't remember receiving any CNs about it myself, nor have I noticed any editorial changes in my quizzes, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been any.
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#981357 - Sun Apr 28 2013 12:41 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33052
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
The funny thing is, Rossian, I even looked it up at more than one source to make sure I knew what the 'British way' was, since I've learned different aspects of both throughout my schooling, and all gave the punctuation inside the quotes when it was dialogue or a quoted passage because in that case the punctuation is part of the quote. Maybe it is a more modern thing, who knows.

For me as an editor I likely wouldn't change the examples that you gave, that doesn't look nearly as wrong to me as punctuation inside the quotes when it doesn't belong like my "My boyfriend..." example.
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#981377 - Sun Apr 28 2013 05:43 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4971
Loc: Florida USA
Originally Posted By: GG
In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal and will not at all change the meaning of your sentence, but it's not something that we need large amounts of invalid CNs for


Why is something you admit is valid to be chalked up as invalid? That finding impacts the ability of some to submit further CNs. Shouldn't there be a possible CN decision input of "no action" to the CN rather than having to be right or wrong?

I'll say nothing about no punctuation ending the quote in a thread about quotes and punctuation marking nor about ending the sentence with a preposition smile
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#981380 - Sun Apr 28 2013 06:12 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33052
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
I mean it's invalid in that it's not something that needs to be corrected, in the same that it's invalid to send a correction saying "Hey there's no u in favor". No correction is needed.
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#981381 - Sun Apr 28 2013 06:18 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: mehaul]
looney_tunes Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 20 2009
Posts: 2927
Loc: Briar Hill Victoria Australia 
Originally Posted By: mehaul
Originally Posted By: GG
In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge deal and will not at all change the meaning of your sentence, but it's not something that we need large amounts of invalid CNs for


Why is something you admit is valid to be chalked up as invalid? That finding impacts the ability of some to submit further CNs. Shouldn't there be a possible CN decision input of "no action" to the CN rather than having to be right or wrong?

The point of this thread is that many of the correction notes sent about punctuation are in fact invalid (meaning that no action will be taken on them), because there is more than one correct and accepted way to punctuate the piece of writing. While it may look wrong to you, and go against not only what you were emphatically taught, but also against what any number of style books you can look up say, that does not necessarily make it wrong. There are many differences of opinion about the proper use of a number of punctuation marks, not restricted to their placement in relationship to quotation marks - commas and semi-colons spring to mind as obvious examples.

This does not mean that you should not send any corrections regarding punctuation, as a sentence without terminating punctuation of any kind is plain wrong (and probably a typo, acceptable in conversational threads such as these forums, but not in a thoroughly proofread quiz).
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#981382 - Sun Apr 28 2013 06:39 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11452
Loc: Western Canada
Ending a sentence with a preposition is not wrong, however, and will not be corrected.

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#981385 - Sun Apr 28 2013 06:59 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: agony]
gracious1 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue May 01 2012
Posts: 645
Loc: New York USA
Quote:
Ending a sentence with a preposition is not wrong, however, and will not be corrected.

I guess that is something up with which we shall all have to put. smilee


Edited by gracious1 (Sun Apr 28 2013 07:01 PM)

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#981387 - Sun Apr 28 2013 08:16 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19238
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
Originally Posted By: guitargoddess
"Hey, there's no u in favor".


You're right; there is no "u" in favor, color, honor, etc. wink smilee


Edited by dg_dave (Sun Apr 28 2013 08:16 PM)
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#981392 - Sun Apr 28 2013 11:34 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
Snowman Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1574
Loc: London England UK            
Noah Webster has a lot to answer for... wink
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#981393 - Mon Apr 29 2013 12:03 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4971
Loc: Florida USA
Sorry I brought it up.
Oops.
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"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#981396 - Mon Apr 29 2013 12:19 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
Snowman Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1574
Loc: London England UK            
FWIW, I was always taught that the punctuation came within quotes whenever dialogue formed part of the sentence so;

"I can drive you," replied Sam.

and

"I need to go to the store today."

would be the correct form.

So clearly teaching standards are different from one part of the UK to another (or from one era to another).
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#981401 - Mon Apr 29 2013 01:30 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
looney_tunes Offline
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Registered: Tue Jan 20 2009
Posts: 2927
Loc: Briar Hill Victoria Australia 
Which is why we all have to live and let live. smile
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#981411 - Mon Apr 29 2013 04:31 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
paa2isback Offline
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Registered: Sun Mar 10 2013
Posts: 126
Loc: Durgapur West Bengal India
So if I use u in favor, color and honor at the start of the quiz so will I have use the same spelling throughout?
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#981413 - Mon Apr 29 2013 04:37 AM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: paa2isback]
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 16846
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Originally Posted By: paa2isback
So if I use u in favor, color and honor at the start of the quiz so will I have use the same spelling throughout?


Yes. Consistency is the key word.
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#982125 - Thu May 02 2013 09:06 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
ASA Offline
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Registered: Tue Oct 15 2002
Posts: 4208
Loc: Adelaide
  SA Australia   
I did a quiz that had to spell centre "wrong" as it was part of a commission and had to use that title, but had it spelled "correctly" within the quiz.
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#982128 - Thu May 02 2013 09:32 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4971
Loc: Florida USA
By correct, did you mean "middle"? smile
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"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#982139 - Thu May 02 2013 11:05 PM Re: Reminder - Regional style differences [Re: guitargoddess]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 7756
Loc: Colorado USA
I wouldn't say centre or center is wrong... Both are correct. However, if using center in the title, I would personally like to see center throughout.
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