This is our first grammatical note, and it’s on a particular aspect of quotation punctuation that a lot of people never seem to grasp: quote punctuation.  This includes end-of-quote punctuation, the punctuation of grammatical structures existing around the quotation, and where the close-quote goes when these things occur.

There are always exceptions, of course – this is English we’re talking about.  But the fast and loose rule is punctuation goes inside the quote unless there is an outstanding reason to put it outside the quote.

For attribution sentences:

 He said, “I’m going.”

She frowned.  “Well, I’m going too!” she exclaimed.

“Don’t you have something better to do?” he asked, irritated.

“No,” she said stubbornly, “and you’ll just get yourself in trouble if I don’t come along.”

For titles and other quoted objects:

I can’t wait to read Poe’s “Annabelle Lee.”

I liked “The Peaks of Otter,” “The Long Black Line,” and “Witch Doctor” the best off the mixed CD you gave me.

Questions or comments?  Leave a reply. 🙂