Single quotes versus regular quotations. Stylized, or strict rule?

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  1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
    Kyler J Falkposted 13 months ago

    I've come to notice that there is a stark unspoken conflict between authors and editors alike as it concerns the use of single quotes in place of regular quotations. I was always taught that single quotes are never to be used outside of a quotation inside of a quotation, but I also see the inverse used regularly and without it ever being addressed.

    The prerequisite for using single quotations, as I learned it, is that you must have a regular quotation present for the use of the single quotes to be valid, rather than singling out a part of a quotation, writing it in single quotes, and not writing the rest of the individual's words you are quoting.

    Is there a rule about single quotations that I am missing, or is the appropriate usage of single quotes only when there is a quotation inside another quotation? Can it be considered stylized, or is it just a faux pas to use them contrary to the rule?

    1. Miebakagh57 profile image66
      Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I've no idea about that. And it seems a little freezely for me to get.

      1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
        Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        "Freezely," is an interesting term, and I don't know what it means.

        1. Misbah786 profile image87
          Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I think, It means deeply freezed tongue smile cool Oopps! I mean Frozen big_smile

          1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
            Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Perhaps we should start calling Miebakagh, Elsa, and get him the instrumental track to "Let It Go" so he can sing for all of us. On the real, though, I really need to know the answer to this question; it's driving me nuts.

            1. Misbah786 profile image87
              Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Let it Go! tongue
              I hope someone will respond to your query soon.
              Even I am unaware of this smile

          2. Miebakagh57 profile image66
            Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            It seems to me you're thinking about ice cream?

            1. Misbah786 profile image87
              Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              You are so kind, Miebakagh. I always enjoy your responses. Ice cream well not a bad idea in summer smile
              Blessings to you!

        2. Miebakagh57 profile image66
          Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Okay, if you could walk in the Arctic first and then the  Antactica  later for just 10 minutes respectively, could not the air you breath in and out on comparison be confusing?                                     Single or double quatations are just quotations. They use depends on a geographical region.                                                  And what language d'you think it's applicable? I've no idea. In Africa generally for example, they is standard British English due to colonialization. Specific in Nigeria is a Nigerian English, although the British standard is the official language.                                             Is English the only language quatation marks are applicable? Have you consider French, Arabic and the others because no language was specify in your query.

          1. bravewarrior profile image91
            bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            What the hell are you talking about, Miebakagh? How does your comment relate to Kyler's question?

            1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
              Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              I love Miebakagh, his comments crack me up. I never understand what he is saying, and I have a field day interpreting it in my head. Right now I'm visiting the Arctic Circle, then teleporting to a research center in Antarctica to discuss how breathing the air feels. The imaginary Antarctic researchers say that people outside of Antarctica don't know squat about breathing cold air.

              1. Miebakagh57 profile image66
                Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Good luck!

            2. Miebakagh57 profile image66
              Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              bravewarrior, don't you see Kyler was a little confused? I was drawing a parallel along the line. Thank you.

              1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
                Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

                Still confused about the meaning of, "freezely," but I had fun with it anyways, lol.

          2. Kyler J Falk profile image89
            Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            As an author who writes in English only, I am only discussing English.

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image66
              Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Now I see it. They seems to be confusing, and I've not try them in any of my writings. But I just use either the single or double quotation in quoting a simple statement. Thanks.

    2. bravewarrior profile image91
      bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Kyler, I found this article. It basically reiterates John's response.

      https://www.diffen.com/difference/Doubl … gle_Quotes

      and this one is even more comprehensive: http://writing.umn.edu/sws/quickhelp/pu … marks.html

  2. Jodah profile image91
    Jodahposted 13 months ago

    “In American English, use double quotation marks for quotations and single quotation marks for quotations within quotations. In British English, use single quotation marks for quotations and double quotation marks for quotations within quotations.” ~ Grammarly

    “Double quotes are used to mark speech, for titles of short works like TV shows and articles, as scare quotes to indicate irony or an author's disagreement with a premise. ... Single quotes are used to enclose a quote within a quote, a quote within a headline, or a title within a quote.” ~ diffen.com

    I hope this helps, Kyler.

    1. Misbah786 profile image87
      Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Deleted

      1. Misbah786 profile image87
        Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        John, does this mean that all it depends on the country in which we're writing?
        Please accept my apologies for deleting the previous response. It was accidentally posted twice.

        1. Jodah profile image91
          Jodahposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, normally it would, Misbah. I am caught somewhere between American and British English however. I use British (Australian) spelling, but I generally use US punctuation because it seems more widely used, especially on Google. Both are generally accepted though, so it is really up to you.

          1. Misbah786 profile image87
            Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Oh, I see. Thank you for the information, John
            Blessings! smile

  3. Kyler J Falk profile image89
    Kyler J Falkposted 13 months ago

    Thank you to both John, and Shauna. However, a secondary set of queries came to mind after reading:

    Which style would Google prefer: American, or British English? Would it even affect SEO to use either? It would seem that American English is the more-acceptable from a scholarly standpoint, but authors still use different styles with differing levels of success both great and dismal.

    1. bravewarrior profile image91
      bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Kyler, Google is American based (and so are you), so I'd go with American. What I found interesting in the second article to which I linked in this thread, is to use italics in place of single quotes. I've done that often in my writing, especially in fiction. I think it makes sense and gives more definition to the context.

      I'm not sure if this applies to your question, but I also use italics to indicate someone's conversation in their head (not spoken aloud).

      What are your thoughts on italics in lieu of single quotes?

      1. Jodah profile image91
        Jodahposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        I often use italics in that instance too, Shauna.

      2. Kyler J Falk profile image89
        Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Editors have changed my italics to single quotes in order to imply a less-serious emotion or dialogue, but I changed them back. So it hearkens back to my original statement, it seems to be a stark unspoken conflict. I prefer italics, especially when reading, because it feels more natural to my brain. However, it also depends on how the writer chooses to incorporate it within context; sometimes I can't even keep up with who is speaking due to the author's writing style.

        1. bravewarrior profile image91
          bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I totally agree with your last sentence, Kyler. Not all writers are adept at dialogue. Effectively written dialogue doesn't always need to be "he said", "she said." To me, that disrupts the flow of the conversation.

  4. Brenda Arledge profile image81
    Brenda Arledgeposted 13 months ago

    I assumed we were to always use the complete words for a quote

    1. bravewarrior profile image91
      bravewarriorposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Brenda, it depends on how much of the quote pertains to your article. For instance, if part of a sentence or paragraph brings your point home, you'd write it this way: "...the reality of it is, you can substitute applesauce for fats when baking." But precede the quote with whom you are quoting. For instance: According to Martha Stewart, "...the reality of it is..."

      (The end three dots were put in place so as to not repeat what I said in the previous paragraph. I was making a point.)

      If much of the quoted paragraph/information is superfluous (or will lose your audience) you can quote the way I've illustrated above. Otherwise, use HP's callout module to include it all (at the risk of losing your readers if all of it doesn't pertain).

    2. Miebakagh57 profile image66
      Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      That's what I can understand. So I gather the relevant words into a quotation(between one and three sentenses) as applicable, and put either a fullstop or comma.                                             In the case of inserting a comma, it should be at the end of the last words of the quotation mark, and the discourse continue.                                         The use of both single and double quotation marks in the same story don't seem to make sense to me? In other words, we're being told to use both the America and British standard at the same time.

      1. Kyler J Falk profile image89
        Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        I'll give you an example of how single quotes and double quotes are meant to be used together:

        During a conversation about quotations with Kyler, Miebakagh explained, "My dear Kyler, 'freezely' means if you could walk in the Arctic first and then the  Antarctic later for just 10 minutes respectively, the air you breathe in and out on comparison can be confusing," but Kyler still could not understand his meaning.

        That is an example of using both single and double quotations together as they were meant to be. There are many other examples I could give, as well, but that should suffice.

        1. Miebakagh57 profile image66
          Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

          "My dear Kyler, you've explain well the meaning of the word FREEZELY."                                 I've put freezely in capital for emphasis. But it has only a single but double quatation. Does it make a little sense? Freezely can be italized or put in small letters. Yet still carry some sense.

          1. Misbah786 profile image87
            Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Some things are better to left as a mystery until the right time comes. Until death, the time is not right smile tongue

          2. Kyler J Falk profile image89
            Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            By HubPages standards, all caps is absolute blasphemy.

            1. Miebakagh57 profile image66
              Miebakagh57posted 13 months agoin reply to this

              That may be. But we're discussing English generally, not hubpages English.                                               I also said freeze(ly) an old fashion adjective can even be put small letters in the quatation.

  5. Kenna McHugh profile image89
    Kenna McHughposted 13 months ago

    Jodah has the answer.

  6. Kyler J Falk profile image89
    Kyler J Falkposted 13 months ago

    It would seem that the consensus is that American English is, and should be the go-to in any case, except when writing fiction or creative pieces.

  7. Brenda Arledge profile image81
    Brenda Arledgeposted 13 months ago

    Thank you Shauna!

    Lol! Miebakagh is on a roll...Antarctica...let me know how it works out Kyle

 
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