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How would you punctuate this sentence?


scrapbabe
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I am editing a book for a friend. Hubby and I don't agree on how to punctuate this sentence. So I am writing it without any punctuation, so you have a clean slate to look at.

 

Connor dashed around the store collecting them and asking questions like how many what kind and how big

 

 

I appreciate your help.

 

Smiles,

Shalynn

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"How many?", "What kind?", and, "How big?".
Double punctuation - the question mark inside the quote and the comma on the outside - is incorrect.

I was a copy editor in my former life and just pulled out my old AP Style Manual, but couldn't find a clear example to cite.

 

I would be inclined to have the writer redo the entire sentence. I personally don't think it is correct to mix tenses -- "dashed" with "collecting" and "asking."

 

Or you could get by with the mixed tenses if you offset "dashed around the store."

 

Ex:

Conner, dashing around the store, collected them and asked: How many? What kind? How big?

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Double punctuation - the question mark inside the quote and the comma on the outside - is incorrect.

I was a copy editor in my former life and just pulled out my old AP Style Manual, but couldn't find a clear example to cite.

 

I would be inclined to have the writer redo the entire sentence. I personally don't think it is correct to mix tenses -- "dashed" with "collecting" and "asking."

 

Or you could get by with the mixed tenses if you offset "dashed around the store."

 

Ex:

Conner, dashing around the store, collected them and asked: How many? What kind? How big?

 

Wow, thank you!

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That's how I had it. Thanks for your opinion. What about a semicolon or colon after like, instead of a comma?

NO!!!

 

Sorry...couldn't help myself. :D

 

Personally, I would probably not put a comma, either. And I might not capitalize "How much" et al. In fact, I might not even use quotation marks. In the sense of that sentence, those are just phrases that are being thrown out there, KWIM? Connor probably was asking in complete sentences; the sentence you gave us was just sort of paraphrasing his questions.

 

At least that's how it seems to me without reading the rest of the story. In any case, definitely NOT a colon or semicolon. NOT! :D

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I would be inclined to have the writer redo the entire sentence. I personally don't think it is correct to mix tenses -- "dashed" with "collecting" and "asking."

 

Except that "collecting" and "asking" aren't verb tenses, they're verb participles. Participles can be used as part of a tense (in the case of the present participle here, they form the progressive tenses with a conjugated form of to be, such as "is collecting" or "was asking"), but when they stand alone, they function as nouns or adjectives.

 

In this sentence, there is only one verb, "dashed". The two participles are acting as nouns, and with the rest of their participle phrases ("collecting them" and "asking questions") function as direct objects of the verb "dashed".

 

In the new version of the sentence, the participle phrase "dashing around the store" is acting as an adjective describing Conner, and the verb "collected" is in the past tense.

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Unless the poster is British. Then, it would be correct. Otherwise, I mostly agree. If you want to stay with the active verb, then I would make it two sentences.

 

I don't think that we would double punctuate either. We sometimes put punctuation in a different place with reference to the speech marks, but not both inside and outside.

 

Laura

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I'm guessing you get frustrated by the misuse of semicolons and colons?:lol:

 

Your post made me laugh.

 

Thanks,

Shalynn

NO!!!

 

Sorry...couldn't help myself. :D

 

Personally, I would probably not put a comma, either. And I might not capitalize "How much" et al. In fact, I might not even use quotation marks. In the sense of that sentence, those are just phrases that are being thrown out there, KWIM? Connor probably was asking in complete sentences; the sentence you gave us was just sort of paraphrasing his questions.

 

At least that's how it seems to me without reading the rest of the story. In any case, definitely NOT a colon or semicolon. NOT! :D

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