Period Goes Inside Quotation Marks
Derrick Grant writes:
I’ve always been perplexed on whether the period goes inside the quotations or outside, when the sentence is not quoting someone. For example: They didn’t describe it as a budget cut, they called it “streamlining services”.
Does the period go inside the quote or outside? I’ve seen it, in professional publications, done both ways, leading me to think that both are correct; however, I have the “ALWAYS put a period INSIDE the quotes” statement burned into my head from my old English high school teacher. If both methods are correct, I’m inclined to think putting it outside the quotes, in the above example, looks more appropriate.
The two most popular U.S. authorities agree with Derrick’s high school English teacher.
AP Style book:
Periods always go inside quotation marks. –p 361
Chicago Manual of Style:
Periods and commas precede closing quotation marks, whether double or single. This is a traditional style, in use well before the first edition of this manual (1906) –Section 6:8
The CMS goes on to describe exceptions for textual studies and British usage, but for practical purposes, writers of American English can go with the “ALWAYS put a period INSIDE the quotes” mantra.
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