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May 11 2010   4:27PM GMT

Combining quotation marks with other punctuation

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
According to Peter Drucker “there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a _________
a. customer.”
b. customer”.


Answer: Either, depending on location.

Explanation:
In the U.S., periods (and commas) always go inside quotation marks; in the U.K., they usually go outside.

Writers Block explains the finer points of U.S. and British differences. Here’s an excerpt:

In the American style, periods and commas are always placed inside the quotation marks, for typographical reasons. In the British style, periods and commas are placed inside the quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material, which is the more logical placement.

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1  Comment on this Post

 
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  • OldGoat1997
    I was taught that there must be a punctuation mark at the end of every sentence. If the period is within the quotes then it applies only to the quotation. If the period is inside the quotation marks then there is no closing punctuation to the complete sentence, which I was taught not to do.
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