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PastMidnight
03-14-2006, 02:45 PM
Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion, limiting herself to a simple "thank you".

Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion, limiting herself to a simple "Thank you."

Am I using "thank you" correctly in the first example, with a lowercase "t" and the period outside of the quotation marks? The second example just doesn't look correct to me, since "thank you" is functioning as a noun here.

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-14-2006, 03:00 PM
I'd go for the first one. I have a feeling, though, that people's responses may well depend on which side of the Atlantic they learned grammar. I believe--correct me if I'm wrong--that Americans always put the punctuation inside the quotation marks.

GrammarScribe
03-14-2006, 11:03 PM
Depends on the publication's house style, I think. If you're following AP style, commas and periods stay inside the quotes. All other punctuation goes outside.

Examples:

Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion, limiting herself to a simple "Thank you."

...but...

Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion--limiting herself to a simple "Thank you"--because she was embarrassed.

PastMidnight
03-15-2006, 12:05 AM
Thanks! I think you're both right about the punctuation needing to be inside the quotation marks.

Any thoughts about the capitalization of the "t"? I don't think that I'm using this as a direct quotation here, but I could be wrong.

reph
03-15-2006, 02:43 AM
Cap the T.

If the speech were longer, it'd begin with a cap. "He struggled to speak and managed only a soft 'Who, who – are you there?" before closing his eyes and falling back onto the pillow."

cJay
03-16-2006, 04:11 AM
Rules for quotations...but I don't think that's your question...

Always capitalize the first word of a direct quotation-if the quotation is interrupted by other words the second part should not begin with a capital letter unless the second part is the beginning of a new sentence or a word that is capitalized anyway.

Any direct quotation should be set off from the rest of the sentence by using a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

Commas and periods always go inside the closing quotation marks. (There are different rules for this when someone is quoting someone else and asks if he really said that...but that's a whole different conversation.)

Colons and semicolons always go outside the closing quoation marks.
Big question is...are you using thank you as a direct quotation...once you answer that, then the rules apply.

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-16-2006, 04:31 AM
I know I'm going to sound really stupid (bear in mind I posted my original response before breakfast), but when I read the sentence, Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion, limiting herself to a simple "thank you", I read it to mean that she gave a more restrained embrace by way of a thank you.

See, I told you I'd sound stupid!

I shall now pop my dunce cap on my head and sit in the corner.

PastMidnight
03-16-2006, 09:14 PM
Big question is...are you using thank you as a direct quotation...once you answer that, then the rules apply.

Yeah, I think that's what I'm trying to figure out here. I like reph's example. It looks correct. I think because mine was so short, it just didn't look correct to me to be lowercase.

Sandi, I hadn't thought about other interpretations of the line, but it wouldn't be a big deal for the story if a reader interpreted it as you did. Thank you for the different point of view.

PastMidnight
04-14-2006, 03:12 PM
This question is related to using something within quotation marks as a noun, so I thought I'd just tack it onto this thread, rather than starting a new thread.

I'm not sure if one can even do what I'm trying to do here, but I know that I haven't done it correctly. Any thoughts? It doesn't seem correct to put the plural endings within the quotation marks, as that would make "day" and "you" seem plural.

The character here is trying to sneak out of a conversation with a group of people that she's just met.

She murmured "Good day"s and "Pleasure meeting you"s all around before slipping off after her sister.

jchines
04-14-2006, 04:21 PM
Why not just write:

She murmured "Good day" and "Pleasure meeting you" all around before slipping off after her sister.

Or simply:

She murmured pleasantries all around before slipping off after her sister.

Julie Worth
04-14-2006, 04:46 PM
Here’s a related question. If the words were not actually said, would you use quotes or italics? Would you capitalize or not? In my WIP, I’ve written it like so:



Tony’s face, all white and peaceful, his lips open as though saying, Go figure.

Jamesaritchie
04-14-2006, 05:04 PM
Laura held back from embracing Nell in her usually enthusiastic fashion, limiting herself to a simple thank you.