Richard-Business Eng
Professional Teacher
A punctuation mistake I will not make again...
I have had the habit of using single quotation marks ( ' ) to denote or identify a special word in a sentence.
After reading the punctuation rules below, I promise I will never do that again.

Special Note:  The following rules and use of the double and single quotation marks (also called quotes, quote marks, quotemarks, speech marks, inverted commas or talking marks.)

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In American English, double quotes are used normally (the "primary" style). If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks, then single quotes are used as the 'secondary' style.
For example: "Didn't she say 'no thank you' when I asked her if she wanted more coffee?"

In British English, single quotation marks (inverted commas) are used normally (the 'primary' style). If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks, then double quotation marks are used as the "secondary" style.
For example: 'Didn't she say "no thank you" when I asked her if she wanted more coffee?'


Rule 1
The single quotation marks (BrE) or double quotation marks (AmE) in the sentences below are intended to send a message to the reader that the word friend is being used in a special way: in this case, sarcastically. Avoid this invalid usage. 
Quotation marks are valid only within a quotation.
Incorrect:  I had a visit from my 'friend' the tax man.
Incorrect:  I had a visit from my "friend" the tax man.


Rule 2

American Punctuation Rule
In American English, double quotes are used normally (the "primary" style). If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks, then single quotes are used as the 'secondary' style.
For example: "Didn't she say 'I like red best' when I asked her wine preferences?" he asked his guests.

British Punctuation Rule
In British English, single quotes are used normally (the 'primary' style). If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks, then double quotation marks are used as the "secondary" style.
For example: 'Didn't she say "I like red best" when I asked her wine preferences?' he asked his guests.


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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 (to make bold or bolder).

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What method do you use to highlight, identify, or bring our attention to specific words in a sentence?
May 28, 2018 3:35 PM
Comments · 37
Damn the rules! Full speed ahead!
May 28, 2018
Just wanted to say I am so happy to see you posting like this again. Your contributions here have been sorely missed recently. 
May 28, 2018

Then, of course, there are the people who pepper their writing with speech marks/inverted commas at random intervals, sometimes with unforeseen consequences.

Somewhere there's a site with photos of such unfortunate examples of over-punctuation.

The one that stuck in my mind ( I'm sorry to say) was from a bake sale somewhere in the US. It showed a plastic  bag containing some lumps of brown sludgy stuff, labelled:

"Fudge". 

The punctuation says it all. Needless to say, the unappetising confectionery failed to sell.


May 28, 2018
A month our Richard was tired,

now he is back, newly inspired.

 

Please, don't argue about single or double quotation marks. They don't make a world, and everyone will understand the intended meaning if he/she is willing. This is said by an OVERCORRECT/ "overcorrect"/ 'overcorrect' German teacher. Rules are the one thing, communication the other. Better this manageable disaster than the SMS-ruled usage of abbreviations. Of course, in cases of formal writing you have to follow the rules, no doubt.

May 29, 2018

The Blue Book's site:


"<em>Rule 8a.</em> Quotation marks are often used with technical terms, terms used in an unusual way, or other expressions that vary from standard usage.

<em>Examples:
It's an oil-extraction method known as "fracking."
He did some "experimenting" in his college days.
I had a visit from my "friend" the tax man.</em>


<em>Rule 8b.</em> Never use single quotation marks in sentences like the previous three.

<em>Incorrect: I had a visit from my 'friend' the tax man.</em>

The single quotation marks in the above sentence are intended to send a message to the reader that <em>friend</em> is being used in a special way: in this case, sarcastically. Avoid this invalid usage. Single quotation marks are valid only within a quotation, as per Rule 7, above."

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It refers to single quote marks used as 'scare quotes' in American usage. 'Single' and American.

May 28, 2018
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