quotation marks

Quotation marks have a kind of domino effect on other punctuation marks, causing them to land in the wrong places — or nowhere at all. Here’s an example:

When one of our fantastic staff members resigns, my first response is something like “oh no!”. But now, I am getting better at saying to myself “If it’s good for him/her, it must be good for us.”

There are many problems with this example:

  1. It’s customary to introduce a brief quotation with a comma. This writer didn’t do that.
  2. Because “oh” is the first word of the quoted material, it needs an initial cap (Oh).
  3. To denote a slight pause, “Oh” should be followed by a comma.
  4. The first period is extraneous; the exclamation point ends the first sentence.

Here is the sentence again, with corrections:

When one of our fantastic staff members resigns, my first response is something like, “Oh, no!” But now, I am getting better at saying to myself, “If it’s good for him/her, it must be good for us.”

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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