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Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
A punctuation mistake I will never make again...

I have had the habit of using single quotation marks ( ' ) to denote, i.e., identify a special word in a sentence.
After reading the punctuation rules below, I promise I will never do that again.

Rule 1
The single quotation marks in the sentence below are intended to send a message to the reader that friend is being used in a special way: in this case, sarcastically. Avoid this invalid usage. Single quotation marks are valid only within a quotation
Incorrect: I had a visit from my 'friend' the tax man.

Rule 2

Use single quotation marks for quotations within quotations.
Example: Dan said: "In a town outside Brisbane, I saw 'Tourists go home' written on a wall. Someone told me, 'Pay it no mind, lad.' "
Note that the period goes inside both the single and double quotation marks. Also note that, as a courtesy, there is visible space between adjacent single and double quotation marks.

In the future, and from this day forward, I will italicize or embolden special words.

:) ... notice that I did not use single quotation marks to highlight/denote the special words italicize and embolden.

embolden means to make bold or bolder.

Sep 22, 2016 8:05 PM
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Comments · 7

Be careful, Richard. U.S. and UK usage are different. Or might be different. Or used to be different.

I think that in the UK, simple quotations are placed within single quotation marks (which they might call "inverted commas?"), and quotations-within-quotations are placed within double quotation marks.

This example is from Through the Looking-Glass:

'It says "Bough-wough!"' cried a Daisy: 'that's why its branches are called boughs!'



September 22, 2016

Awesome tips Richard.

Thank you.

September 23, 2016

I am a serial quotation marks abuser, so I will make a good faith effort to improve along with you.


My excuse is that I spent a lot of time writing in ASCII-text environments while doing computer stuff. At least that is the excuse that I am going to stick with.

September 22, 2016

Suade... I believe the rules I mentioned are American punctuation rules, so the rules/conventions in the UK or elsewhere may be different.

Thank you for your comments.

September 23, 2016
Reading your post makes me think of Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update! 
September 23, 2016
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Richard-Business Eng
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language