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English punctuation/quotes in a dialog?

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mrwarper
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 Message 1 of 8
01 February 2017 at 5:39pm | IP Logged 
Because I don't spend that much time in English-speaking countries and I don't buy as many books as before, I'm not quite in touch with modern English typographical conventions, hence this rather nit-picky question.

I happen to be reading an English fiction novel downloaded from a Russian website and some of the punctuation, use of quotes, etc., especially in dialogues, strikes me as rather peculiar. I have found several passages that follow this pattern:

«[...] And you—« He turned away. «I'm going [...].»

Could anyone please comment on this use of angled (these are all over the text), and opening and closing quotes? -- Is this English punctuation normal, correct but unusual, just Russian-style-shoehorned-into-this...?

Edit: wording, typos.

Edited by mrwarper on 13 April 2017 at 11:14am



Speakeasy
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 Message 2 of 8
01 February 2017 at 7:06pm | IP Logged 
I conducted a quick Google search and came up with the following:

Quotation Mark - Wikipedia

Beyond the above, I have noticed that many Windows-based text messaging systems seem to convert keystrokes for quotation marks ("...")automatically into those commonly-used by other languages as shown in the Wikipedia article.

As an aside, while the HTLAL remains a veritable gold mine of discussions on language-learning, and while many members may continue to read the recent posts, most of the "more active" members have registered on the replacement forum:

A Language Learner's Forum

Were you to register on the replacement and post your question to the members, you would likely receive a great number of replies. See you over there!

Edited by Speakeasy on 01 February 2017 at 7:06pm



mrwarper
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 Message 3 of 8
01 February 2017 at 8:13pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the link and all. See my user avatar and signature 'over there'? ;)

OK, by pure luck I found the same file (down to the same scannos, or typos) in a server in an English-speaking domain -- it has pure ASCII quotes (") and double hyphens instead of em dashes, etc. in the text, as one would expect, so I would conclude the Russian file is a version of that one after going through some kind of automatic converter that assumes Russian punctuation and quotation marks are OK for all texts regardless of language.

I'm still interested, though, in any comments on whether such "strange" quotation styles are acceptable in English, and/or can be actually found in print, etc.

Edited by mrwarper on 01 February 2017 at 8:14pm



Serpent
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 Message 4 of 8
15 March 2017 at 7:26pm | IP Logged 
I think Russian got those angled quotation marks from French. So maybe you'll find them in Canadian publications sometimes?

Also, the quotation marks in your example aren't correct in Russian either.



Speakeasy
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 Message 5 of 8
15 March 2017 at 10:28pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
I think Russian got those angled quotation marks from French. So maybe you'll find them in Canadian publications some times?


In most English language media published in Canada -- outside of the province of Québec -- the standard (or at least the most frequently encountered) punctuation would be "...".

Within the Canadian province of Québec, where French is the sole official language, several sources, including "l'Office québécois de la langue française " recommend that the angled punctuation < ... > be used. I would imagine that this recommendation follows the standard practice in France. However, actual practice in Québec media includes both sets of quotation marks. I suspect that the current practice in Québec is due to the very heavy influence of Anglo-Canadian and Anglo-American media practice.



dampingwire
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 Message 6 of 8
12 April 2017 at 12:28pm | IP Logged 
mrwarper wrote:

I'm still interested, though, in any comments on whether such "strange" quotation styles are
acceptable in English, and/or can be actually found in print, etc.


I don't recall ever seeing those angled quotes in any English publication in the UK.





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 Message 7 of 8
12 April 2017 at 9:56pm | IP Logged 
mrwarper wrote:
Thanks for the link and all. See my user avatar and signature 'over there'? ;)

I'm still interested, though, in any comments on whether such "strange" quotation styles are acceptable in English, and/or can be actually found in print, etc.


Never in my whole life have I ever seen angled quotes or any quotes other than " in any English language publication. Though the 'normal' quotes can be at an angle like this: “Now is the winter of our discontent.”



mrwarper
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 Message 8 of 8
13 April 2017 at 11:08am | IP Logged 
dampingwire wrote:
I don't recall ever seeing those angled quotes in any English publication in the UK.

Mork the Fiddle wrote:
Never in my whole life have I ever seen angled quotes or any quotes other than " in any English language publication.

Exactly, neither have I -- I wanted to make sure, though. I rarely see English language publications in actual print any more so I'd have to judge from maybe 1% of the input volume you have -- or I could ask ;)

Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

Quote:
Though the 'normal' quotes can be at an angle like this: “Now is the winter of our discontent.”

Oh, that's a common IT vs. typography problem:

By typographical convention, the right way to write quotes in English is using single or double "comma" characters, inverted for opening and closing quotes (‘’“”) just like angled quotes are mirrored («»).

However, in its early days, the IT field was not just Anglocentric, which made using any "special" characters like «» a PITA if possible at all, it was also shaped and lead by lazy / typographically illiterate people (your pick there) who thought it was easier to use the same characters for both opening and closing quotes, and all kinds of horizontal separations—hence the straight quote " and ' characters (note that ' often doubles as an apostrophe too). This is why "normal" (read: English) yet comparatively infrequent characters like “, ”, –, or — are missing from most digital texts as well, or are instead replaced with their typographically poor counterparts ', ", --, or ---, like in 99.9% of my own posts here, yes ;p

Edited by mrwarper on 13 April 2017 at 11:15am



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