Is that ‘imperfect punctuation’?

Yup, it is. It’s a misplaced question mark (or maybe it’s a misplaced quotation mark) on the Yahoo! front page:

fp perfect

A question mark goes within quotation marks only if the words within the quotation marks are actually a question.

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3 Responses to “Is that ‘imperfect punctuation’?”

  1. ZZMike Says:

    That style is one of my Don Quixote campaigns, You’re right (of course) about that one.

    Most everyone seems to think that commas go inside the quotation marks. Example from Wiki:

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many things.”

    Alice did not say the comma; it should go outside. And there’s a period missing:

    … , “whether you can make words mean so many things.”.

    The first period ends Alice’s sentence; you need a second to end the whole sentence.

    I could agree to agree that a final period ends everything that needs ending, as:

    , “whether you can make words mean so many things”.

    I’m flexible.

    Sort of.

    • Laura Says:

      The comma and period inside the quotation marks is strictly a U.S. construction; the rest of the world puts them after the closing quotation mark.

    • Old Man Says:

      Alice didn’t say the comma, but she didn’t say the period either. Extending that logic, humans (except, perhaps, Victor Borge) don’t say any punctuation – therefore there should be absolutely no punctuation of any kind inside quotes.


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