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Why I was right about commas inside quotation marks

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Why I was right about commas inside quotation marks Reply with quote

For decades I've refused to put punctuation marks *inside* of quotes, and generally put them *outside*. As I recall, this dates back to my first serious involvement with computers (that would be 1975 or so) and my practice and mastery of nested parentheses.

I knew intuitively that putting punctuation that relates to the sweep of the sentence *outside* the scope of the quotation, that putting it *inside* the quotation mark was a level mismatch. I guess you could say that I "flouted" the rule or convention, but if so, it was a fairly quiet flouting. I've had the oddly quiet confidence of a man sure that time would prove him right, realizing as well that confidence can be a weakness.

Today, I realized another reason why I was right about commas and quotation marks, in particular. Cutting and Pasting. When I'm pasting a quote, it is often inappropriate for punctuation associated with its particular textual context to be used in the new context.

What a "reader" of your text might want is that it be copy-paste-friendly. Commas outside of quotations is "friendlier" for this use of a text.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never understood that one either.

Is it for readability reasons?
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