Periods Go Inside Quotation Marks
- On July 17, 2018
“You Can End a Sentence With a Preposition” will be sent to 500 subscribers from the list, “Professional Contacts for Weltchek Weekly”.
That’s the notice I recently received from MailChimp, the service that distributes this bulletin—but it’s incorrectly punctuated.
In American style, periods (and commas) always go inside the quotation marks, even when they’re not part of the quoted material. If MailChimp were a British company—it’s not—the sentence would be correct because British style does place periods and commas outside the quoted material when those punctuation marks don’t pertain to the quoted material.
In American and British style, question marks, however, are treated differently. When they’re part of the quoted material, they rightly go within the quoted matter, but when they modify the whole sentence—not the quoted portion—they go outside. So, MailChimp would be correct in writing, Do you want us to send this bulletin to everyone on “Professional Contacts for Weltchek Weekly”?
Yes, please, I do.