Author Topic: "this" or 'this'  (Read 415 times)

Offline jonny_555

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"this" or 'this'
« on: May 12, 2021, 01:03:05 PM »
The more I read the more I discover how different books are set.

All my own manuscripts and writing use two inverted commas, so " "

But I often read books that use single inverted commas, so ' '

And this applies to big name books too.

Which is correct? And more curiously, which poor soul has to change these for each version  ;D
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Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: "this" or 'this'
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 03:51:02 PM »
I've seen books use apostrophes in place of quotation marks too, but that's not the norm.

Put dialogue and other quotes in quotation marks " ". I only use apostrophes as quotation marks when there is a quote inside a line of dialogue.

Example:
"What's that Emily Dickinson line?" he asked.
"The one about hope?" she replied. "It goes, 'Hope is the thing with feathers...'"

Offline Viddiest

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Re: "this" or 'this'
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 07:39:43 PM »
This seems to be a style decision made by the publisher. My preference is to use double quotes but something I published had all the quotes converted to single quotes, and when I asked them, they said it was an in-house decision.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 10:56:34 PM by Viddiest »

Offline MsGretaGreen

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Re: "this" or 'this'
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 01:38:09 AM »
In the US, the standard is double quotes for dialogue. In Britain, the standard is single quotes. Not sure about the rest of the English reading world.

Offline jonny_555

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Re: "this" or 'this'
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 02:00:26 AM »
Thanks everyone. Interesting about the UK vs US usage. Would a writer have to edit these if they were submitting to both countries?
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Offline MKWrites_318

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Re: "this" or 'this'
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 07:31:34 AM »
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about editing them. As long as you are using one style consistently throughout the novel, you should be fine. They've seen novels written both ways. Also, if the agent/editor thinks you should change it, they'll say so.

I didn't realize the standard was different in the UK. That's interesting.