Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something New

"They", or should that be 'they', say you learn something new everyday.

I'm in the process of reading my next module and figuring out what and how I'm going to do the assignment on dialogue, the question of inverted commas, or quote marks, or speech marks came up.

For the past 12 months or so, I've been submitting primarily to American markets and have become very used to using "double quotes" to indicate speech. Within the module, I'm told to use 'single quotes' for speech.

Lucky me was given the sixth edition of the Australian Style Manual for Father's Day so I looked it up.

On page 112 it states: Single quotation marks are recommended for Australian government publications--in keeping with the trend towards minimal punctuation. Double quotation marks are then used for quotes within quotes.

It goes on to say: Direct speech is enclosed in single quotation marks.

Now if I'm not allowed to paste an excerpt like this from the manual, then let me know and I'll remove it immediately.

The reason I'm showing this is because:

a) I was under the (incorrect assumption) we used double quotes for direct speech here in Australia.

b) I thought we wrote "we were moving toward the house" as opposed to 'we were moving towards the house'.

I think I might troll through Tim North's Better Writing Skills to see...........Nope, nothing there that I can see so I've emailed Tim on the quotation marks. I'll post the response when I get one. I'll ask about the 's' on the end of toward after that.

Enquiring minds want to know...

1 comment:

  1. very interesting. i didn't realize the differences in the two countries. I always try and refer to Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" and the " is used as opposed to '. I look forward to seeing what you find out.