Guest Post: Ask the Book Doctor about Quotation Marks

Grammar advice for the self-publishing author:

Q: I am editing an article for a periodical and cannot find anything in my grammar books or copyeditor’s guide that addresses this issue. There is a sentence in quotation marks that lists within it the names of several songs. I am confused as to whether to use single quotation marks around the names of the songs or to use double quotes as you would usually do with a song.

A: Single quotation marks are used to indicate quotation marks inside of double quotation marks. Because the sentence is in quotation marks, any items within it that would have quotation marks around them would have single quotation marks.

Examples: “John, did you say ‘Thank you’ to your teacher?” Mary said, “I loved the Tommy Edwards song called ‘It’s all in the Game.’


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Bobbie Christmas, book editor, author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), and owner of Zebra Communications, will answer your questions, too. Send them to Bobbie@zebraeditor.com. Read more “Ask the Book Doctor” questions and answers at http://www.zebraeditor.com.

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