Several friends have been interested in my previous post about quotation marks, and a few of them asked questions about punctuating a quotation-within-a-quotation. I found a reliable resource at the OWL (Online Writing Lab) website sponsored by Purdue University: https://owl.english.purdue.edu.
One intriguing comment came from a friend who was amazed that writers actually insert quotations within quotations. She’d never heard of this practice. Or maybe (as she admitted herself) she’d just never noticed. (Did any of you notice that I used this construction in a post last week – about Elizabeth Smart’s talk about the word “purity”? Click here to read the post.)
Here’s the sentence I wrote:
“I felt so dirty and filthy,” Smart said in her talk at Johns Hopkins. She remembered a religion teacher who used an analogy with chewing gum. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value.”
I promise to switch to another topic in my next post! (But quotation marks are interesting, aren’t they?)