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Should the full stop be outside the closing inverted commas? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2018 11:27:52 AM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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It is expounded in the Parable of the Phantom City chapter, "there was a Buddha, most honoured most honoured of two-legged beings, named Great Universal Wisdom."

1. Should it be 'As expounded' instead of 'It is expounded'?

2. In British English, should the full stop be outside the closing inverted commas?

Thanks.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2018 1:04:48 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Koh Elaine.

It is not the nationality of the speaker (British English or American English) which changes the punctuation.

It is which style you wish to follow. There are people who speak American English who follow the punctuation style called "Logical Punctuation" or "British Punctuation". Even the American Linguistics Society use this style, I believe.
Also there are speakers of British English who use the style called "American Punctuation".

In this case, I do not think it is any different.

In 'American style punctuation', I believe the full stop is always inside the quotation marks.

**************
In Logical/British style punctuation, it depends on what is in the quotation.

The Parable says:
There was a Buddha, most honoured of two-legged beings, named Great Universal Wisdom.

This is a full sentence, with a full stop. Therefore, 'logically' the quotation contains a full stop.
It is expounded in the Parable of the Phantom City chapter, "There was a Buddha, most honoured of two-legged beings, named Great Universal Wisdom."

***********
Your sentence might have said:
It is expounded in the Parable of the Phantom City chapter that there was a Buddha, most honoured most honoured of two-legged beings, named "Great Universal Wisdom".

In this sentence, the quotation is only a phrase - Great Universal Wisdom - which does not have a full stop, as it is not a sentence.

****************************
Both "As expounded" and "It is expounded" sound OK.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2018 3:02:32 PM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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Thanks, DragOnspeaker.
BobShilling
Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2018 3:38:57 PM
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Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The Parable says:
There was a Buddha, most honoured of two-legged beings, named Great Universal Wisdom.

This is a full sentence, with a full stop. Therefore, 'logically' the quotation contains a full stop.
It is expounded in the Parable of the Phantom City chapter, "There was a Buddha, most honoured of two-legged beings, named Great Universal Wisdom."


Complete logic would require a full stop after the last word of the quotation, and a full stop after the final quotation marks to end the whole sentence. It would also require punctuation such as this: "I am going home." she said.

As Huddleston and Pullum (2002.1754) note of the distribution of punctuation marks within the quotation itself and in the matrix sentence:

This is a matter on which there is a of deal of variation, firstly between AmE and BrE, and secondly, within BrE (and other non-American varieties) between different publishing houses.


If we put half a dozen 'problem' examples containing direct speech here here and asked half a dozen speakers of BrE to punctuate them, I suspect that no two sets of six punctuated sentences would be exactly the same. If I have time tomorrow, I might start a thread with a set of sentences and see how we get on. If I do that, I'll post a link in this thread for people interested.
BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 3:52:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
I have started the new thread here. Im afraid I ended up with ten sentences.
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