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View Full Version : Help with Speech Marks, Please?



Dollywagon
03-17-2007, 12:01 PM
I wasn't sure where this should go, childrens/poetry? Anyway, I plumped for you lot;)

It's a verse for a children's poem but I'm completely stuck on where to put the speech marks. Nothing seems right!

"You see," said the goose, "to be kind takes some thought
You have to think how to be nice
But Maddy can't think, she just causes a stink
'Cos her brain is all slop-dosh and rice

Any help (and explanations why) greatly appreciated!

alleycat
03-17-2007, 12:10 PM
This isn't what you asked about, but I wouldn't use 'cos, I use 'Cause. Actually, I might even prefer "because" in that sentence with a comma after stink. Just a thought.

You need an end quotation mark somewhere. I'm not sure if the whole thing is a quote from the goose, or if part of it is the narration continuing.

Dollywagon
03-17-2007, 12:27 PM
You lose the beat if you slip in Because, Alley Cat.
Plus, I'm in the UK, we may have a few differences in pronunciation!

Yes, the whole thing is a quote from the goose.

alleycat
03-17-2007, 12:35 PM
I don't see that; but, that's certainly up to you and what you're trying to do. It was just something I threw out as an idea.

Then I think this might work (although, since this is verse, I'm not sure about those commas and periods I put in; the "rules" bend a little on verse . . . and I didn't try to use semi-colons). I'm not sure about this however.

"You see," said the goose, "to be kind takes some thought,
you have to think how to be nice.
But Maddy can't think, she just causes a stink,
'cos her brain is all slop-dosh and rice."

Dollywagon
03-17-2007, 12:53 PM
How annoying ... that's how I did it the first time round!

You're right, the rules do bend around poetry and sometimes it really throws me into a tizz and the more I try and mend it, the worse it gets.

Thanks for that.

maestrowork
03-17-2007, 08:20 PM
How about this?


"You see," said the goose, "to be kind takes some thought.
You have to think how to be nice
But Maddy can't think, she just causes a stink.
'Cos her brain is all slop-dosh and rice"

or


You see, said the goose,
To be kind takes some thought
You have to think how to be nice
But Maddy can't think, she just causes a stink
'Cos her brain is all slop-dosh and rice

If you want to be rid of commas and periods, you could probably lose the quotes, too.

Jamesaritchie
03-18-2007, 08:52 PM
You lose the beat if you slip in Because, Alley Cat.
Plus, I'm in the UK, we may have a few differences in pronunciation!

Yes, the whole thing is a quote from the goose.

I don't think you lose the beat if you use "cause," but in such writing, "Coz" works as well.

As for quotation marks, you use the next one after "rice," assuming this is when the goose stops speaking.

Jamesaritchie
03-18-2007, 08:54 PM
I would keep the punctuation. Just because it's verse in no way means it will read properly without punctuation.

Lance_in_Shanghai
03-24-2007, 09:39 AM
It's in limerick pattern so, of course you can't just add a syllable. And it's not necessary to write in child-style or dialect ('cos' or 'cuz') if dialect is beside the point. You should probably use whatever abreviation your readers expect. In the U.S., some people like 'cuz' while (whilst) other U.S. speakers like 'cause'.

The difference in pronunciation is not significant for northeastern U.S. where 'because' is pronounced without the 'a', as it was in East Anglia, from whence came the Pilgrims. In Brooklyn, New York, it takes on a near-diphthong 'bee-ko-uz', just as does '33rd'.