logical quotation

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Alternative forms[edit]


logical quotation ‎(uncountable)

  1. A system of quotation wherein terminal punctuation marks are enclosed within a quotation only if the sense of the punctuation is part of the original material being quoted. It is similar to but stricter than British quotation, based on the sense of the punctuation in the context of the writing in which the quotation is being used (and thus permits limited insertions of additional punctuation, or alteration of original punctuation, in the quoted content, which logical quotation does not)..

Usage notes[edit]

Because logical quotation is essentially a more stringent form of British quotation, some sources (chiefly American) conflate the two terms and styles (e.g., Yagoda 2011).



  • 2008 November 26, “Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies – Style Guide”[1], University of Aberdeen, Scotland: Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, retrieved on 2015-09-23: 
    Punctuation marks are placed inside the quotation marks only if the sense of the punctuation is part of the quotation; this system is referred to as logical quotation.
  • 2011 May 12, Ben Yagoda, “The Rise of 'Logical Punctuation'. The period outside the quotation marks is not a copy error.”, Slate, accessed on 2011-10-23:
    [S]ince at least the 1960s a common designation for that style has been "logical punctuation." ... [T]he vast majority of the legion of logical punctuators are not consciously rejecting illogical American style, or consciously imitating the British. ... [D]espite the love it gets from the masses, logical punctuation isn't likely to break through to the rule-keepers any time soon.
  • 2015 September 19, David A. Wheeler, Secure Programming HOWTO – Creating Secure Software[2]:
    "This book uses the logical quotation system, not the misleading typesetters' quotation system. This means that quoted information does not include any trailing punctuation if the punctuation is not part of the material being quoted. The typesetters' quotation system causes extraneous characters to be placed inside the quotes; this has no effect in poetry but is a serious problem when accuracy is important. The typesetters' quotation system often falsifies quotes (since it includes punctuation not in the quote) and can be disastrously erroneous in code or computer commands.
  • 2011 November 26, Mark Nichol, “Logical Punctuation Isn’t the Logical Choice”, Daily Writing Tips, accessed on 2015-09-04:
    [The American] system is inconsistent: Place commas and periods inside quotation marks, but semicolons and colons go outside. Em dashes, question marks, and exclamation points go inside or outside depending on whether they’re part of the context of the quoted material (shades of logical punctuation).
  • 2011 May 19, David Marsh, “'The British style'? 'The American way?' They are not so different”, The Guardian, accessed on 2015-09-24:
    The debate about "logical punctuation" suggests two things. First, there is nothing very logical about it. As with so many aspects of language, what you use tends to be the result of a battle between what you were taught, and what you like the look of. Second, British and American English have more in common than people sometimes think.
  • Radio Times Stylebook

External links[edit]