Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

For those who haven't read Eats, Shoots & Leaves, go read it. It'll improve your own grammar and writing no end, and for what's basically a book written by someone being a grammar nazi, it's surprisingly enjoyable to read. Brought up by this discussion, while QC'ing Durarara!!

[Rosti_LFC]  - Totally the dream man of girls into "dandy daddies."
[Rosti_LFC] should be "dandy daddies".
[Ayanami-] what?
[Ayanami-] the period after the quotes?
[Ayanami-] I thought only question marks do that
[Nanne]     * Periods and commas: inside the quotation marks
[Nanne]     * Colons and semicolons: outside the quotation marks
[Nanne]     * Question marks and exclamation points: (a) inside if the question or exclamation is part of the quotation, and (b) outside if the question or exclamation is not part of the quotation
[Nanne] http://www.englishrules.com/writing/2005/quotation-marks.php
[Rosti_LFC] wat?
[Rosti_LFC] I swear all punctuation that isn't in the quote should be outside
[Rosti_LFC] oh
[Rosti_LFC] American system
[Rosti_LFC] well that's fucking retarded
[Rosti_LFC] both for the fact that it's different, and the actual fact that they apparently go inside
(Pasting IRC logs is a bitch on here because it keeps thinking all the nicks are fucking HTML tags)

So apparently American English has an extra-fucktarded aspect I wasn't aware of (on top of their incorrect spellings and the like), which is that all full stops and commas at the end of quotation marks should go inside the quotation.


The sign said "stop here". (British)
The sign said "stop here." (American)

Sorry, but that's so ridiculously fucking stupid. There was no . on the sign. That is not what the sign said, that is not what should be inside the quote. The whole fucking point of quotation marks is that it signifies that the contents are an ad verbatim quote. Which they're not when you start fucking sticking random punctuation in there. Funny how small things can rile me up so much, and it's weird that I'm annoyed over shitty grammar, but I'm more annoyed over the fact that somebody, somewhere in the US, has decided that this is how English should be. That always putting stuff inside somehow makes more sense.

Punctuation goes inside if it should go inside - i.e. if it's part of the quote. If not, it should go outside. Why are Americans apparently too retarded to make that observation, and just need some bullshitty rule that it always goes inside the quotation marks? You can't write a blanket rule, because it depends entirely on what you're quoting, and what punctuation it requires. It's just fucking stupid and wrong that they've even tried.


  1. YES.
    I've always thought that was retarded, and have refused to use the rule for anything other than academic essays, which are usually full of other shit anyways.

  2. The most hardcore rant about punctuation I have ever read.