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To use quotes or not to use quotes...that is the question!


jayjay
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I'm doing some editing, and I came across a line I'm not sure what to do with. Good ol' Google isn't being helpful (or I'm just not searching for the right thing), so I hoped that someone here with more editing knowledge than I could help. Which of these lines reads correctly?

 

Five—silver and black name plate that says Norma.

 

Five—silver and black name plate that says, "Norma."

 

For context, the character is looking at physical items she can describe to herself for a grounding exercise, so this is a thought she is having.

 

Thanks for your help!

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I'm not an editing expert per say, but I do enjoy my grammar and punctuation (and capitalization!...and spelling!...and vocabulary!...and many other things that I would be considered nerdy on!...)! I would think that it would be Five--silver and black name plate that says "Norma." since it's not actually saying the word. Or you could do something such as Five--silver and black name plate with the word "Norma" on it. 

 

Just my thoughts. See what the others say first. 🙂 

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According to The Chicago Manual of Style 7.63, it will be "Five—silver and black nameplate that says Norma." (No italics or quotation marks.) According to the stated CMOS rule, this is because "proper nouns used as words are usually set in roman [type]."

 

If you would like to avoid ambiguity, then I would go with italicizing "Norma" as this is the traditional choice (so "Five—silver and black nameplate that says Norma).

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