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Oh man, oh man, oh man, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this one. I’m taking a copyediting class and part of the assigned reading is a section from The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Ed. I’ve mentioned this before, but periods are not supposed to go outside quotation marks–but here’s the one exception:

In an alternative system, sometimes called British style (as described in The Oxford Style Manual; see bibliog. 1.1), single quotation marks are used, and only those punctuation points that appeared in the original material should be included within the quotation marks; all others follow the closing quotation marks.

Then, a little bit further down, there’s also:

Double quotation marks are reserved for quotations within quotations.

Which is to say, when writers leave periods outside quotation marks and use “British style” as their excuse, they’re still doing it wrong–unless they’re using single quotation marks.

I love it when rules are that simple and explicit. I feel sane again.


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