Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Which Quotation Marks Are Which?

Okay. You know you’ve seen it, and maybe, just maybe, you’ve even done it.

I’m here to ask you – nay; beg you – to please stop.

Stop what, you ask?

Stop using single quotation marks.

For the love of everything sacred – please!

Unless you live outside the US (which rules I will not address), or work for the Associated Press, it is never appropriate to use single quotation marks. (Well, almost never, and it is very, very unlikely that any of the exceptions apply to your situation.)

So here’s the bottom line: If you’re setting off a word/phrase (Klingon leader signs “peace treaty” with Romulans), referring to the title of a short work (Gibbs’ poem, “A Few Good Probies”), citing a word and not its meaning (she said “naughty,” not “delicious”), or quoting the exact words someone spoke or wrote (“Smell my hair,” he whispered), use double quotation marks.


1 comment:

  1. LOL! Well, I am outside the US but will endeavour not to stress you with my non-US use of singles. :-P