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March 18, 2007



Another related and also interesting issue is that of the "thin space" that is supposed to separate a single quote from a "regular" double quotation mark, like in your Deborah Kerr example above.


The rules are clear? Usage might be improved by adhering to some 'grammatical logic'. As you point out in your 'double space after a period post, some rules arose due to typeface limitations, or manual typesetting practices.

Prescriptivism needs to die that long- promised death...

Hank Lay

You may be correct regarding US English usage, but I submit that we need to change in favor of the British in this case. In our "computer age" it can become crucial to include only the content being quoted within the marks. Adding other punctuation could affect present or future links to other text or sites. You never know anymore whether what you write will become part of some larger structure, and being imprecise within quotations can skew your meaning, or at least make some future editor's job harder. Let me quote from another of your articles: "Times change. Technology evolves. So should we."

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Why "Word Wise"?

  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).