Why the hell is it people can’t figure out basic punctuation rules when it comes to quotation marks and things like commas and periods? Even if you’re quoting something, the punctuation mark goes INSIDE the quotation marks. Everyone seems to want to pretend to be British these days, where they stick the punctuation outside the quotes. But guess what? We had a little war about oh, say, 215 years ago, give or take a few years that allowed us to secede from Great Brittain. Do you know what this means, to secede? It means that we became a country of our own. We left the mother ship. We took our baby steps and fell and grew to be a country with language usage all our own. Lots less cool and boring in most cases, but still ours. For instance, we took the “e” out of judgment. We add a “the” before we head to the hospital. We go on vacation instead of on holiday. We call our boots and condoms rubbers. They call their erasers rubbers. There are lots of little different things. And one of them is putting the damn little punctuation marks inside the quotation marks. It is so bloody distracting to see the punctuation mark outside the quotes. See there? I used a British swear word to show everyone how distracting it is when Americans pretend they are Brits. Weren’t you distracted? I hear you. You’re saying, “Here she is complaining about Americans acting like Brits and she’s acting like one herself!” I’m with you. But see, I did that on purpose to make a point. Those people out there using the punctuation marks outside the quotes aren’t making a point. They are just using the marks incorrectly.
I put a rant about this very issue on Craigslist Rants and Raves. Do you know what? Someone flagged it for removal! This is a site where people use the foulest of language, some posting the most horrendous photos, with arguments back and forth between people on the web basically threatening to kill each other, and my little rant about putting small punctuation marks inside the quotes got flagged! I swear. I suppose Portland rant and ravers want everyone to think they are from Britain or something. Weird.
So please. I beg you. If you are American and you are writing, follow the rules. Put the small punctuation marks inside the quotes, whether or not you are quoting something. This is the rule. If you don’t believe me, I can recommend an excellent site on grammar and punctuation. It’s called Wilbers on Writing and it’s at www.wilbers.com. The specific rule about small punctuation marks inside the quotes can be found at www.wilbers.com/quotes.htm.
That’s it for the random rant of the morning. Thanks for sticking around.