Quotation marks

Quotation marks are important. Learn to use them.


“Our state’s business community must “evolve or die” in order to thrive in the global marketplace.” — letter from a chamber of commerce in Florida to its members. What’s wrong with the above?


This: If you have a quote within a quote, use single quotation marks for the “interior” quote. In this case, the correct version is, “To thrive in the global marketplace, our state’s business community must ‘evolve or die.'” (Recasting the sentence also eliminates two unnecessary words: “in order.”)


Wrong: “The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary” — from a philosopher who knows not how to use quotation marks

Correct: “The only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is a dictionary.”