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Where does the period go?

I have a question on the following excerpt:

And that means taking some time to effectively communicate the “vision” throughout the organization and to train all members to “view for improvement through cooperative effort” rather than “hunker down and protect turf.”

Does the last period of the sentence belong inside or outside of the quotation mark? The sentence “hunker down and protect turf” isn’t complete, so...what do you think? This is on the website of the company I work for.

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Maybe it can go outside the quotes in academic writing, where you're forced to cite something:
Carl Carlson claimed, "The world is flat"[Carlson, 2002].

Otherwise I always put the punctuation inside the quotation marks. Look in a newspaper; do they ever put it on the outside?

jonghyundunbar October 4, 2005 @ 11:42PM

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Inside the quotes. It doesn't matter that "hunker down and protect turf" is not, in itself, a complete sentence. American usage dictates that commas and periods ALWAYS go WITHIN closing quotation marks, except when a a parenthetical reference or citation immediately follows the quotation.

For the record, colons and semicolons go outside closing quotes; placement dashes, question marks, and exclamation points depends on whether or not the punctuation applies to the quotation itself (inside) or to the sentence as a whole (outside).

whitneygallienNO October 5, 2005 @ 9:03AM

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The period goes outside/after the quotation mark, because it is a short coloquialism involving a phrase and not two sentences and not a quote.

melbackups October 11, 2005 @ 3:33PM

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Actually, Ellen, you're mostly right.
While periods and commas do, by a rule that's generally accepted in the U.S., always belong inside quotation marks, other punctuation should be placed in the most logical place. That is, question marks and exclamation points do not always come outside quotations.
An example would be if you're quoting someone who is asking a question, or someone who is yelling. Jim yelled, "Stop, thief!"
And to the original comment, I'd say that "hunker down and protect turf" being a fragment is irrelevant. Even if you were quoting a single word, the period would belong inside the quotes. (The only word that did her hair justice was "unbelievable.") The period doesn't apply to what's being cited; rather, it completes your sentence.

asheibar November 14, 2005 @ 9:43AM

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I thank all of you have shared the previous information. It answers my question clearly.
PS I always tell people my name because they never believe me anyway.

jchristianheartt November 10, 2008 @ 11:40PM

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Oh, I'm going to have fun here.

This question is easy, in the specific: Following American usage and style, the period goes inside the quotation marks. Again, that's emphasis on "American," but in American, that's strictly correct.

However, there are technical situations where that might be confusing, and I can see where usage might be adjusted for that. In my job, where meaning and structure often struggle together, the suggestion is usually to rewrite the sentence to avoid the conflict.

But Brad, putting the comma outside the quotation marks is just appalling to me. Quit it.

scyllacat December 21, 2008 @ 8:37AM

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