PDA

View Full Version : Single quote usage



indianroads
09-01-2018, 01:06 AM
Which is it?

"When I say 'three', pull the trigger."

or

"When I say three, pull the trigger."

?

I'm leaning toward the first one because it feels right, but I'm uncertain of the rules.

lizmonster
09-01-2018, 01:15 AM
I think the first, but I'd put the comma inside the single quote.

I'd probably put "three" in italics myself, but I think that's idiosyncratic.

M.S. Wiggins
09-01-2018, 01:25 AM
Maybe consider:

"On the/my count of three, pull the trigger."

indianroads
09-01-2018, 02:03 AM
Thanks for the input -

M.S.Wiggins: the speaker (MC) is a soldier who is under educated and plain spoken, as such he's more likely to say, "when I say" rather than "on the count of".

Lizmonster: I always appreciate your input, although I question your suggestion about comma placement. I'm mostly self educated by reading a lot - but I like the feel of the comma outside of the single quotes because it makes the first clause of the sentence more defined (just my opinion as always). Italics are tempting, and I'll look at that when I do my first editing pass (once the first draft is complete) - I want to be sure my use of italics is consistent.

Again - thanks!!

Maryn
09-01-2018, 02:30 AM
This is one I'm sure of. Those come around so rarely!

Here's what's correct:
"When I say 'three,' pull the trigger." <--for the US market only; UK does things differently with commas and quotation marks
or
"When I say three, pull the trigger."

My source is the Chicago Manual of Style, 7.58.

Maryn, off to open the wine--happy weekend, everyone

indianroads
09-01-2018, 02:32 AM
This is one I'm sure of. Those come around so rarely!

Here's what's correct:
"When I say 'three,' pull the trigger." <--for the US market only; UK does things differently with commas and quotation marks
or
"When I say three, pull the trigger."

My source is the Chicago Manual of Style, 7.58.

Maryn, off to open the wine--happy weekend, everyone

And once again I stand in awe of your wisdom. Thank you!!

Bufty
09-01-2018, 02:46 PM
"Two, seven, nine, five, three."

Don't think that's what is meant but it's how ' when I say three' could be interpreted.

'On my count of three' is pretty plain speaking to me.

Maryn
09-01-2018, 05:46 PM
You left out fourteen! Geez, Bufty, get it together.

Maryn, grinning

Chase
09-01-2018, 08:45 PM
"When I say 'three,' pull the trigger." <--for the US market only; UK does things differently with commas and quotation marks
or
"When I say three, pull the trigger."

My source is the Chicago Manual of Style, 7.58.

O wise and weird Maryn is spot on with advice to US writers for comma placement inside quotes, despite many liking the feel of the comma outside of the end quote, double or single.

I also lament different standards for English language writers and could live with either, but :rulez get in the way.