• Quotation Marks.... 1.

    From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Paul Quinn on Fri Mar 2 18:00:57 2018
    Hi, Paul! Recently you wrote in a message to Ardith Hinton:

    And once you'd commented on [Alexander's kludge lines],
    I couldn't help running to the dictionary to clarify my
    understanding of the word "heuristic"... [grin].

    So would I but I don't have a desperate need

    Thank goodness... at last I've met somebody who actually knows how to
    spell "desperate". For this relief, much thanks... [Wm. Shakespeare].

    to know the meaning with any precision at this time
    of the night,

    Ah. Thanks for the heads up. That's something others miss when they
    insist on using UTC time. If I see a person writing in the middle of the night
    when they usually arise at dawn & go to bed at sunset, I realize they may be in
    deep distress. I'll take a second look and possibly get back to them ASAP even
    though I have unanswered messages which arrived earlier. Doing the math I must
    do to calculate "clock time" in Russia or Australia at the time of writing is a
    different skill which involves a different part of the brain. At 22:39 you are
    ready to hit the sack, while I'm just hitting my stride & wondering if I'll get
    whatever I've been working on finished by midnight. Glad to know that.... :-)

    as I have a fair understanding of why the word is used. ;-)

    I know how it is used in the EdBiz, but wasn't sure how it applied in
    this context. Fortunately Dallas is well acquainted with both. :-)

    [re Alexander's story about the boy & the cigar]
    I see it as a narrative of an incident between two
    people. I'm trying to keep it simple by looking at
    it as a 'he said', 'we said', 'they said' sort of
    thing, where the story (joke) unfolds as the result
    of the to & fro conversation. So, I would use double
    quotes for the statements made in the narrative as
    they are the actual words spoken.

    Yes, the joke is essentially narrative except for the last two lines.
    That's why I'd be inclined to keep the quotation marks as well. :-)

    The simple guide I use is that any words actually
    spoken are in double quotes. Anything else lending
    to understanding statements made or other actions,
    may be optionally single or double quoted.

    In the interests of clarity I prefer to use double quotation marks as
    my default because they're unlikely to be confused with apostrophes, but I have
    some concerns WRT your use of the word "optional" in the second sentence above.
    As you can see I use double quotation marks to set off isolated words & phrases
    regardless of whether somebody else used them first. There are conventions WRT
    quotes within quotes... again, in the interests of clarity. For example:

    "Should I say 'was' or 'were'?" Alexander enquired. [esp. US]
    'Should I say "was" or "were"?' Alexander enquired. [esp. UK]

    Either way is correct, and whichever others prefer is fine with me. I can't be
    sure from the above description, however, whether you've grasped the principle.
    I bend rules myself from time to time... but only within certain limits. Maybe
    the issue of quotes within quotes hadn't occurred to you because you don't read
    the sort of material where it is likely to arise. If you use an unconventional
    style of punctuation because your advisors hadn't considered the matter either,
    it's no wonder you feel you're up the creek without a paddle sometimes.... ;-)

    Anne Stilman, in her book GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT, says:

    The occasional style guide may instruct you to use
    double marks for some purposes and single marks for
    others, but most keep things simpler.

    That's another possibility I hadn't considered until I re-read the same pages I
    turned to awhile ago when Alexander & I discussed this topic. Style manuals...
    the bane of my existence, as a university student, because it seemed that every
    instructor in the English department wanted us to use a different one! You may
    have understood perfectly the advice you got from a reputable source & followed
    it to the letter. But if this source does things very differently from the way
    others do them, their methods may confuse rather than assist your readers. :-Q

    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)