Speech within speech

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Gryphos, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Gryphos

    Gryphos Dark Lord

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    We all know how to format dialogue — where the commas go, the appropriate case for 'said', etc. But I'm not entirely sure if the same rules apply to speech quoted within dialogue, like when a character is relaying what another character said.

    Would it be something like:
    "So that wasteman said, 'your shoes suck.'"
    or
    "So that wasteman said, 'your shoes suck'."
    or
    "So that wasteman said 'your shoes suck.'"
    or
    "So that wasteman said 'your shoes suck'."
    or something else entirely?

    It's just one of those things that's been bugging me forever.
     
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Mythic Scribe

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    My instincts tell me your first example is the right one.
     
  3. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Istari

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    Pretty sure it's the first one.
     
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    In the US the quotes go inside the comma.

    ((edit))

    Wow that was bad.

    In the US the comma goes inside the quotes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  5. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

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    I think it's this one
    "So that wasteman said 'your shoes suck'."
    but there again
    I also think it should be
    'So that wasteman said "your shoes suck".'
    [Maybe because my professional work in on-line and ' ' is thought clearer than " " on screens]
    I'd only add a comma if I wanted to emphasise a pause in what was being said.
     
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Dark Lord

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    It's the second one (for American publishing).

    "So that wasteman said, 'your shoes suck'."

    Double speech marks outside the full sentence. The comma to break off to the quote from someone else, with a single quote mark to indicate the quote, and closing off. The full stop outside the quote because it is the end of the full sentence, and the closing speech marks from the person speaking.

    It you were publishing in Britain, then the speech marks/quote marks, would be inverted, to single and double rather than double to single.
     
    Steerpike, Gryphos and Rkcapps like this.
  7. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Mystagogue

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    Must say my instincts agree with Butterfly.
     
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