UK versus US quotation styles and Royal Road
Is there any general consensus, or individual bias, towards either the UK or US form of noting speech, quotes, and the like?
UK uses single quotation marks ‘Hello, Tom’, whereas the US uses double quotation marks “Hello, Tom”. You'll essentially see a reverse in styling for other punctuation, like with quotes inside of dialogue.
UK example: ‘Tom, did you hear what Mathew said? “Unintelligent”, the gall!’
US example: “Tom, did you hear what Mathew said? ‘Unintelligent’, the gall!”
If you pick up any book with a UK author you'll find many before 2010 follow the single quotation marks, Harry Potter to name the most popular. Though the double quotation marks have been wrongly placed within our education, so plenty of UK authors in recent years have made the change either due to their upbringing or a means to appeal to a larger American audience.
Since it's mostly a personal preference as well as a relatively simple, if not long, process to change, I was wanting to see if RR held any bias for the UK or US style. I personally believe consistency is more key, but if single quotations are enough to drive people away I am flexible in altering my writing style.
MalevolenceMau Wrote: UK uses single quotation marks ‘Hello, Tom’, whereas the US uses double quotation marks “Hello, Tom”.
Though the double quotation marks have been wrongly placed within our education, so plenty of UK authors in recent years have made the change either due to their upbringing or a means to appeal to a larger American audience.
I knew there were different styles, but having been taught the " " style at school I'd assumed this was the UK one. 🤣 Didn't realise that was a recent shift.
I've clearly never noticed it be any different whilst reading books either. 🤔
Edit: I even went to check our bookselves and yeah, some of our older books do have single ' '. So I guess the answer to this is that it doesn't bother me as I don't even register it, so long as it's consistent. But I'll write with " " because it's what I was taught. 🤷
From what I can gather, US is a majority though UK has been seen and is noted as a difference by said authors.
I will swap to US-style to pass by any complaints I would have in that case, far simpler to be honest. Now to await the complaints about my UK spelling of words.
But yes, online I've seen 99% double quotation marks. They're just easier to see, and I think they look more clear. 'No I didn't' vs. "No I didn't"
But now that I've seen it, I find it upsetting... though I think that's mainly because I'm a programmer and strings (lengths of text) are prefered to be wrapped in double quotes since the apostrophe and the single quote share the same glyph.
'No I didn't' would break your code.
So I guess that's a significant part of your answer. Pretty much only the UK uses single quotation marks for dialogue. Since keyboards/text editors generally only facilitate either the UK style or US, others default to US because it's most similar.
My advice though is to write however you want. People will understand it, usually. It just takes some getting used to.