Punctuation becomes a habit, but once in awhile you run into a puzzling incident of use. I am often confused when it comes to using quotation marks. In my own writing of articles and lists, I simply work around the problem by avoiding or rewording the sentence. However, occasionally I edit the written work of a professor or other highly-educated individual who doesn’t want to have her sentence structure altered.
I’m a writer by nature, not an editor. However, when I have the opportunity to edit material that interests me, I consider it to be, “getting a free class or two as I read and edit.”
Therefore, it isn’t any less interesting than some of the topics I write about that are not particular areas of interest to me. I once did a series on car rentals in the UK. Although, I had zero interest in renting a car and driving it down to the wrong side of the road (from my perspective), I learn a few interesting facts about language differences between, “the King’s English” and the “US version.”
Hmmm! Now should I have placed a comma before “the King’s English?” For example, “the King’s English” not “the King’s English.”
After checking it out, I determined that I should place a comma outside the quotes if it isn’t a part of the direct quote. Therefore, “the King’s English” is correct and if the quote ends the sentence, the period is placed inside the quotation marks.
Are we confused enough now? If we are, we can always Google the topic. Now if we understand these quotation marks and how to use them, next topic I write about will be, “the correct usage of the single quotation marks.”
Prepare to be confused or enlightened by my next comments on the mysterious usage of punctuation in the US English language. Perhaps the British punctuation is the same.