Fanfiction Discussion

JMilz

Moderator
Hi

I don't about JKs books in other countries but in the UK in her books to highlight when people were saying something she used ' ' (as in 'Luna said it' and not "Luna said it").

In my opinion if JK used ' ' instead of " " then it must be alright to use ' ' to highlight when people spoke.

What do others think?
In American-English, that is used only within quotations. So like this: "Luna said 'look for Wrackspurts', so we did, but we found nothing." Is that how it's done in the U.K. as well? I know The Hobbit uses all ' ' rather than " " in American editions, but it's supposed to be because it's written by Bilbo and he's quoting others.
 
I don't know about other books in the UK using them the way you've demonstrated, but JK never used them that way in her UK versions of the books. She only ever used ' ' not " "
 

K Stahl

New member
Generally accepted grammar: When quoting, use double quotes ("). When quoting within a double quoted phrase, use single quotes ('). When the single quoted item falls at the end of the double quoted item, use single quote, followed by a space, followed by double quote (' "). American style generally has the period that ends the sentence falling within the quoted statement (.' "). English style generally has the period that ends the sentence falling outside the quoted statement (' ".).

Caveat: I am not a grammar expert, but I do try to research correct grammar on the internet when I am writing and have a question.
 

K Stahl

New member
Dear Magicmuggle01,

I understand what you were saying when you previously wrote, "In my opinion if JK used ' ' instead of " " then it must be alright to use ' ' to highlight when people spoke." I am not arguing. However, when writing, whether fan fiction, original fiction or non-fiction, it is important to get it right. Grammar has changed over the decades and there is often disagreement about what is correct, but just because a writer uses grammar in a specific manner does not mean that it is correct and should be followed. The grammar that Rowling used is not and must not be considered grammatical "cannon." Each of us is capable of mistake and being consistent in mistake does not make it correct. The goal of the writer should always be to be a good writer. Following another is a good first step—a toe in the water so to speak, but it is only a first step and will not—cannot—lead to originality and excellence.

Sincerely,
K Stahl

p.s. I do not have access to the UK version of the "Harry Potter" stories, but in the American version, double quotes are used. I tried the internet, but it may be that because of copyright laws, the actual quoted passages may be of the American version. I am unable to confirm.
 

Blue Kat

Member
In American-English, that is used only within quotations. So like this: "Luna said 'look for Wrackspurts', so we did, but we found nothing." Is that how it's done in the U.K. as well? I know The Hobbit uses all ' ' rather than " " in American editions, but it's supposed to be because it's written by Bilbo and he's quoting others.
I believe that British punctuation is essentially the reverse: single quotes for dialogue, double quotes for anything quoted within the dialogue. This site (https://www.thepunctuationguide.com/british-versus-american-style.html) had a pretty decent explanation.
 
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