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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Punctuating Close Quotes in Four Easy Lessons Part II

If you didn't catch Part I of Punctuating Close Quotes, check out yesterday's post! Today guest blogger Boyd Sutton, editor of Wisconsin Regional Writers' Association' Journal is guest blogging on using those damndable close quotes with colon and semicolons. It's the least confusing rule in the entire grammar book--at least in my opinion! (-:
Part II
Closing Quotes with Colons and Semicolons

By Boyd Sutton

Colons and Semicolons
Reverse the rule in yesterday's post on using periods and commas with close quotes. Always put colons and semicolons after the closing quotation marks.

Wrong: The first poem she read was “Silence”; then she went on to read “Laughter”, “Joy”, and “Shade”.

Right: The first poem she read was “Silence”; then she went on to read “Laughter,” “Joy,” and “Shade.”

(I threw in some wrongly-punctuated commas and a period just for fun and reinforcement. Hope you caught them. Grin!

Tomorrow we'll cover punctuation marks with closing quotes and dashes.
Boyd Sutton is producer and editor of the Wisconsin Writers’ Journal, a quarterly publication of the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association . His articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines. He is a freelance editor and has won many writing awards, including the Jade Ring, Wisconsin’s most prestigious writing award, for his essay, “Owning Your Own Time—Managing Your Retirement.” He may be reached at This article first appeared in the 2008 winter edition of the Wisconsin Writers’ Journal.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at, where writers will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog.

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