View Full Version : is this correct punctuation?

07-22-2004, 04:27 PM
Did bill say " where are we going?"?

07-22-2004, 07:28 PM
Pretty clearly not, but what is your point and how does it relate to mentoring?

07-22-2004, 10:02 PM
not quite, toto... here's how i think that should be written:

Did Bill say, "Where are we going?"?

the double question mark does look awkward, but it's technically correct, imo... if it's not 'preferred' usage by some recognized authority, i am ready and willing to stand corrected...

hugs, maia

07-31-2004, 11:32 PM
I'm a little late with this one, but better late than never, I always say. (Maybe that's why I'm always late...)

After reading this sentence through a couple of times, I realize that it's part of a dialogue itself. Therefore IMHO, the proper punctuation would be:

"Did Bill say, 'Where are we going?'?"

...although some authorities would reverse the single and double quotation marks. This only goes for novels, short stories or other prose. I'm not certain what the format would be for screenplays, etc., but I would use maia's form.

08-01-2004, 09:18 AM
I'd just do this:

Did Bill say Where are you going?

08-01-2004, 09:13 PM
sorry maestro, but italics are incorrect in this instance... theyr'e not even to be used for thoughts, which many unseasoned writers think is ok... but some authors do get away with that, when thoughts run for a whole paragraph... it does make it easier for the reader to remember it's thinking and not dialog or narration...

and i didn't see that it was dialog, yesh... if it is, your version is the right one, of course... as for the reversal of single and double quotes, that's only done in uk usage... american usage mandates the double for outer and single for interior quote...

per strunk and white, if you want to check...

hugs, maia

08-02-2004, 01:06 AM
Italics are used sometimes as subtitution for quotes. E.g.:

The word no really means no.

In this case, I'm simply not using quotes because it's awkward.

I know the grammar police is going to come arrest me. :-)

08-02-2004, 06:20 AM
Actually, I'd probably recast the sentence.

"Did Bill just ask where we are going?"