No, NO, NOOO, that's not where the #@$% comma goes!

It goes inside the quotes, not outside.

Incorrect: “Jane, you ignorant slut”, Dan began.

Correct: “Bite me, Dan,” Jane replied.

Could this not have been part of the other rant?

There should be separate forum just for grammar fascists. Or a whole board.

If there was a seperate forum I would be too damn scared to even peek at it.

Yes total illiteracy is a bad thing but nitpicking is not much more pleasant. Two threads nitpicking is ummmm…worse then a misplaced apostrophe/quotation mark.

Nitpicking = understandable

Not understanding basic punctuation = should be a crime, punishable with a fine or community service.

Seeing how much confusion there is over basic punctuation, I thought it best to keep things simple.


So you intend to open a pit thread for every grammatical error you find?

Shit, I will make things easy for you, just look at all my posts. I over use ellipses and that is the least of my sins I’m sure.

Lock me up Marge.

Speaking as a grammar fascist myself, I feel the need to point out that your incorrect example is in fact the convention in the UK, and your second example is indeed the accepted standard in the US. If message board/internet writing is the source of your pain, then perhaps it would help the whole blood pressure situation to keep in mind that posters come from all over the world.

On the other hand, if this is a rant about people in your office using the former instead of the latter, and you are in the US, then by all means, send around a snarky memo reminding everyone “As last I checked, this office is part of the ‘Fifty Nifty United States,’ and so I would remind everyone to use the US format for punctuation of quotations.” I do this all the time at work (although I should add that keeping a consistant style for written work produced by the office is part of my job description and I didn’t take it upon myself in a fit of despair) and I am not entirely unpopular as a result. Some people have even learned to check with me before going to print!

(And even though I get paid to do it at work, I’m completely aware of the universal laws mandating the inclusion of grammatical errors in internet posts about grammar, so feel free to have at it.)

What I was going to say.

The comma is there as punctuation in the written narrative. It has nothing to do with what was actually said. Therefore it belongs outside the quotes.

Thanks to Dianne for pointing out there were two threads.

Look, sometimes peapul misspell or yuse pnctuashun[ wrongly. Grammer, two:

Sumtymes, its" simply a problem of casual typing. If one is trying to make a very cogent point in a debate, then, yeah, they shoud preview and note their grammar and punctuation. If i""ts a casual post, who the fuck cares!?

We can’t have the separate forum thing for grammar mavens (if they won’t do it for computer questions in GQ, forget it). So look, here’s a compromise – how about those who a beef about the way folk communicate with funny little symbols and whatnot all gather together somewhere, one weekend, have a damn good bitch about everything, and get it out of your systems?

Just leave your loaded apostrophes at the door …

There is.

From the Gregg Reference Manual, Ninth edition, by William A. Sabin, page 65, par. 247a:

(Italics in original.)


I had to learn the “inside the quotes” positioning when i moved to the United States, and for a while it actually looked quite weird to me. Now i’m used to it, and the “outside the quotes” method that i learned in Australia seems unusual.

But i’ll echo some other sentiments from this thread by asking whether we need a new thread for every minor style or grammar rant, particularly when the element in question is one that has legitimate differences among different English-speaking regions of the world. If you know what the person means—particularly on a mesage board—then just read the thing and move on, ferchrissakes.

I’m from the States, and I’m curious what folks think of this. I typically use the comma inside the quotation marks rule, except for when I’m using quotations for something other than dialogue. In delphica’s letter to the boss:

“As last I checked, this office is part of the ‘Fifty Nifty United States,’ and so I would remind everyone to use the US format for punctuation of quotations.”

I would have put the comma after the single quotes around Fifty Nifty United States. It itself isn’t a phrase that needs delineation by a comma, and so putting it inside the quotes seems confusing to me.

Large, Marge, the reason we have threads is to keep all posts of a given topic in one place. Opening multiple threads on the same topic defeats that purpose.

P.S. Eonwe, sorry to cut things off before your question could be answered. Feel free to repost it in the other thread, or email me and I’ll copy it there.