As you may have noticed, I am not a language purist. I adopted a lot of American spelling when I went to live there and had to write as part of my job, and I have stuck with it since as the majority of my readers are American. But one thing that really grated on me was American punctuation. If you are going to put something “in quotes”, those quotes should logically relate to the piece of text being quoted, and should not expand to include punctuation that is part of the parent sentence, but not part of the quote. US style insists that, if you something “in quotes,” they should encompass any following punctuation.
See the difference?
I had always thought that what I was doing was a British style of punctuation, but looking at contemporary UK books and newspapers I discovered that they tended to do things the American way, so I changed. Or at least tried to, I’m not very consistent because it irritates me so much.
Now, thanks to Jonathan Strahan on Twitter, I have found this article in Slate, which not only supports my instinct that I was using a UK style, but also argues that it is much more sensible than the American way of doing things. Hooray! Now I can go back to doing quotes my way.
If Anne and Deanna don’t kill me.
And except in Clarkesworld where I need to follow Neil’s house style.