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In British English, should the comma be inside the closing inverted comma? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 8:57:41 AM
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‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect’.

In British English, should the comma be inside the closing inverted comma?

Thanks.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 9:30:52 AM

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Outside.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 12:58:39 PM

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Hi Koh Elaine.
The choice is not between "British English" and anything else. It just depends on which style guide you want to follow (or which one your institution says you SHOULD follow).

‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect’.
There is no comma in this sentence. Are you asking about the final full-stop?

In some styles (used in both the UK and the USA) that final full-stop would always be inside the inverted commas. This is used by the Oxford Press (which prints the dictionaries and things). This is called TQ - Typesetter's Quotation.

In logical punctuation (used by some institutions in both the UK and the USA) is depends on the quote. Ask yourself this question:
Is ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect’ a full sentence?
Should there be a full stop at the end of this? The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect.

If the quotation is a full sentence, ending in a full-stop, then there is a full stop in your original sentence quotation.
‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect.’

If the quotation is NOT a full sentence, and doesn't end in a full-stop, then there is no full-stop in the quotation of your sentence. So a full stop is needed at the end.
‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect’.

The American Bar Association (Legal writings) uses Logical Quotation - as does the Chicago Manual of Style - one of the most-followed style-guides in America.

******************
It looks to me that this is a full sentence: "The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect."
Therefore, I would expect there to be a full-stop in the quotation in your longer sentence:
‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect.’

So - by both Typesetter's Quotation and Logical Punctuation, the full stop should be inside the quotation.
Koh Elaine
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 2:10:06 PM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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Thanks, DragOnspeaker.

It is an error -- should be a full stop.
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 10:16:53 PM
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Koh Elaine wrote:
‘Pure and perfect’ means ‘The essential teaching during Shakyamuni’s lifetime and the teaching for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law are equally pure and perfect’.

Personally, I would keep the full stop outside the quotation even though the quotation is a full sentence.

Consider the following:

Three examples of two-word sentences are "I walk", "I run" and "I swim".

Since "I walk" and "I run" cannot be given a full stop here, I prefer to omit it from "I swim" for the sake of consistency, and put the full stop at the end.
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