Talk:Quotation mark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Typography (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Typography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Typography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the importance scale.
 

"Jennifer"[edit]

"Jennifer" is listed under languages, also "Choong Choong". A mistake? 2.242.236.216 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:45, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

English usage of quotation marks[edit]

Maybe I'm not a "normal" UK citizen but I've always used double quotes as my primary choice. This is how I was taught at school, and a straw poll of my colleagues confirms that they were all taught the same. Updating the main page on the basis of this evidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.176.218 (talk) 14:21, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you. I also wonder if English should be in the table at all given the title of the article, but I guess it's helpful for comparison purposes. Maybe the article should then be renamed to "Usage of quotation marks in different languages". Scil100 (talk) 23:34, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
We really need a good, modern, descriptive (not prescriptive) source on this. Anyone? garik (talk) 13:13, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid, incidentally, that how people remember being taught at school is a very poor basis for making changes on Wikipedia. Even assuming everyone remembers right, this only reflects what particular teachers happened to prefer. What we want is to see what publishers prefer. With this in mind, I had a look through a bookcase yesterday, took out books at random and checked which style they used. The following are all British-authored and British-published books that use single as primary and double as secondary:
Watership Down by Richard Adams (Penguin Books)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Penguin Books)
My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl (Penguin Books)
Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (Little Brown)
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (Sceptre)
Headlong by Michael Frayn (Faber and Faber)
The Black Death by John Hatcher (Phoenix)
Elizabeth's Spy Master by Robert Hutchinson (Phoenix)
I found two that used double quotes as primary and single quotes as secondary: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Harper Collins) and The Pyrates by George MacDonald Frazer (Harper Collins). Since both of these are from the same publisher, I suspect that the main determiner of quote style in British publications is the publisher. This was backed up by my finding later a copy of Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith (Abacus), where double quotes are used as primary, in contrast to Sunday Philosophy Club. I also found, as further evidence, that a British edition of Stephen King's The Gunslinger, published by Hodder and Stoughton, had single quotes as primary.
This suggests to me that both styles are used in the UK, but that single-as-primary is a more common preference among publishers (so far, six out of eight). As Scil100 noted on my talk page, the press seems to have its own preference: single quotes in headlines, double quotes in articles. On the basis of all this, I suggest that the article state that both are used in UK-English, and that we don't note a preference one way or the other until we can find a good descriptive source. If no one objects, I'll go and change it myself. I also agree, by the way, that the article title should probably be changed. It seems useful to have the English styles in the table for comparison. garik (talk) 14:02, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, in view of your findings; thanks for going to this effort. Scil100 (talk) 20:30, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it's because I'm American, but I am astonished that anyone would use double quotes as secondary quotes. This is taught as flat-out wrong here. I've never seen it anywhere except this article (including hundreds of published books). I have seen single quotes used as primary quotes in a few cases, but never with a secondary quotation inside or for a long speech quotation, just to do things like quote a single word. Grammar girl agrees with me if that counts for anything: [1] Okj579 (talk) 16:32, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
If you think about it, it makes more sense to start of with single quotations and move onto double quotations within speech. What on earth happens on the third quotation? 'Josh told me "Mother wants use to Take the trash out now! or else!" and I don't know what to do!'. Fghdhg (talk) 04:42, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
It is because you're American. Grammar Girl says explicitly that "The rules differ in British English." Also, I've moved your comment down the page. It's preferable if you add your posts after earlier ones, unless your comment needs to be very closely associated with one higher up the page (and even then it's often preferable to simply use a quotation to refer back to it). garik (talk) 17:49, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

The entirety of the above discussion (save for the reference to Grammar Girl) is original research, which is not permitted on Wikipedia. Does anyone have any reliable sources to back up the assertion about quotation mark use in UK English? sroc 💬 14:11, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

You could have looked for some yourself! But I take your point. I seem to remember meaning to look for a good source (as my comments suggest), but since it didn't seem contentious I kind of forgot about it. Anyway, I've added one now. Garik (talk) 15:09, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Having been in education in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, we were taught to use double quotes for work we turned in, like the poster at the top. This was for longhand (essays, reports etc.) as computers were not yet in heavy use. However at the same time printed books in the UK used singles. In short, there was different usage between longhand and printed matter.90.219.97.6 (talk) 08:54, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree that double quotes first were taught in the UK. The "British" variant of single quotes first seems to appear only in books printed from the 1960s onwards, but I'm struggling to find good references for the facts. Dbfirs 11:03, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure that single quotes is modern British thing. The top 4 books in my nearest stack are 1921, single, 1947, single (both OUP) 1945 double, 1975 double. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 19:12, 24 January 2016 (UTC).

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Quotation mark. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

YesY Archived sources have been checked to be working

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 22:51, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Quotation mark. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 09:42, 17 April 2016 (UTC)