This is a highly unusual post for me, but I figured that if I can just help ONE person with this little, but mighty important, and might I add EASY punctuation tip, I will feel fulfilled today! Here is the tip that can change the lives of many writers:
When you are using quotation marks and a comma is the necessary punctuation, always-- I repeat, always-- place the comma INSIDE the quotation marks.
Example: "I am so excited to see the blossoms on the cherry trees," said Kim.
Do you see that the comma is inside the quotation marks? Commas should always, always, ALWAYS be placed inside the quotation marks.
I know, I know...you have seen commas placed outside the quotation marks. Yes, you have, and that my friend is called an error. I realize you have read published books and magazines in which you have seen the comma placed outside of the quotation marks--believe me when I say, that when you see that, you are looking at a punctuation error.
I love this punctuation rule because there are no exceptions, no variables. How EASY is that? I know this tip may not have changed a life, but it sure can change some writing, and for today, that makes me happy!