Here is a mnemonic means of recalling the correct way to punctuate speech in written English, sent in by Barbara D. Martin (9/00) - although Barbara tells us that the credit for the idea should not go to her but to other teacher friends!

For remembering that the closing speech quotation marks come after any closing punctuation marks:

Q comes after P in the alphabet.

Thus for example in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" the heroine Elizabeth Bennet says:

'What does Mr. Darcy mean,' said she to Charlotte, 'by listening to my conversation with Colonel Forster?'
'That is a question which Mr. Darcy only can answer.'

A separate page details the rare few spelling rules that exist for the English language.


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