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  1. #1
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    Paren punctuation

    For once and for all: does punctuation always go inside parens? This was from a FB discussion re Maureen Dowd.


    She most often has something intelligent to say, but her writing style has become a bit above my reading grade level (and many others I suspect.) I used to enjoy her NYT columns, but not so much anymore, for all that they do enlighten.

    She most often has something intelligent to say, but her writing style has become a bit above my reading grade level (and many others I suspect). I used to enjoy her NYT columns, but not so much anymore, for all that they do enlighten.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    I don't think they always do, but in your example I think the second is correct.

    If the punctuation mark belongs with the main body of the sentence (not the parenthetical statement!) then you put it outside.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty Foyle View Post
    There's your answer, Bookwerm. Some grammar rules just look wrong when on paper and make the reader stumble. I think I'd re-write the sentence and avoid the issue altogether. My mother-in-law always says, 'an hotel' - perfectly correct. Really annoying.

  5. #5
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    That's interesting, Susan. Where I came up (Wisconsin), we were taught to pronounce hotel with a "hard" h. As in, "What a horrible hotel!"

    *_*
    Last edited by Kitty Foyle; 04-08-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member gertegan's Avatar
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    I think the internet and texting has done entirely too much to rip apart the written word. I even had a prof in college who told us all punctuation was useless and he'd fail us for using commas. He was a technical writing professor, so maybe that had something to do with it. As for the question, I tend to put punctuation inside (now I'll go check the link and see if I'm right or not.)
    "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon."

    http://dustbunniesanddeadspiders.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
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    As for the question, I tend to put punctuation inside (now I'll go check the link and see if I'm right or not.)
    I would indeed put the punctuation (period) inside...but only if I'd started a new sentence. For instance:

    As for the question, I tend to put punctuation inside. (Now I'll go check the link and see if I'm right or not.)

    Otherwise, I'd put it (period) on the outside:

    "As for the question, I tend to put punctuation inside (now I'll go check the link and see if I'm right or not).

    *_*
    Last edited by Kitty Foyle; 04-08-2012 at 05:55 PM.

  8. #8
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    Paraphrased from Elements of Style:

    1. A sentence containing an expression in parentheses is punctuated as if the parenthetical expression were removed.

    2. The expression within the parentheses is punctuated as if it stood by itself, except that the final stop is omitted unless it is a question mark or exclamation point, in which case the final stop comes before (i.e., inside) the closing parenthesis.

    Now go to your rooms and read quietly. It's Sunday night, and I've had a long day dealing with Easter Eggs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayce View Post
    It's Sunday night, and I've had a long day dealing with Easter Eggs.
    Oh? Your little kiddies? Your little grandkiddies? Your little great-grandkiddies?

    Or did you scarf them all down yourself? (We're talking chocolate here.)

    *_*

  10. #10
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    How did you know?

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