Communication Skills

JS Tip 122: From the Writing Workshops: More About Quotation Marks

We’re following up on last week’s tip about quotation marks within or near other punctuation marks.

Three principles: 

{C}1.     Use quotation marks if you’re directly quoting the speaker: 

     Maggie warned, “If we don’t do this, we put the company at risk.”

The words are Maggie’s, not yours.

{C}2.     {C}Don’t use quotation marks if you’re summarizing what the speaker said:

 

     Maggie warned the group they may be putting the company at risk.

The words are yours, not Maggie’s. You’re putting in your words what Maggie said. (Notice the shift from “we” to “they.”)    

{C}3.     This will be rare. If you’re quoting someone quoting someone else, use double quotation marks (standard quotation marks—two little blips) for the first quotation, then single quotation marks for the second quotation:

     Maggie said, “The CEO was clear. She said ‘Do this or else.’”

Notice the single quotation marks and the double quotation marks at the end of the sentence. You’re closing the CEO’s quotation and Maggie’s quotation.  

If you have questions, let us know. We’re glad to help. We love this stuff.  

Next week: Encouraging people. Persuading people. Selling to people.

 

NOTE TO SELF: USE THE INCREASE INDENT (COMMAND-]) AND THE SPACE BAR TO LINE UP THE INDENTS. THEY’RE OKAY ON THE TRANSMIT.

IF YOU TRY TO SET IT UP HERE, IT WON’T WORK.

 

Jefferson Smith Tip for Friday, August 5th: More About Quotation Marks