With English teachers for parents and a degree in literature, I’ve always felt a certain burden to uphold consistent, proper English usage. Over the past few years, though, one of the firm rules that I learned in my younger days – that commas and periods go inside quotation marks – has become impossible for me to follow. This is an American rule, one that is mostly, if not entirely, about typographic appearance.
‘Twas google/ig, and the odeos Did skype and quimble in engrade: All simpy were the buzzingos, And the feedpaths carbonmade. “Beware the Frapprflock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Yubnub bird, and shun The del.icio.us Offertrax!” He took his orkut sword in hand: Long time the slawesome foe he sought – So rested he by the Numsum tree, And stood awhile in thought. And, as in schtuffish thought he stood,