Writing Glitch #462

Today’s glitch: 

Treat internal dialogue the same as external dialogue when it comes to commas, periods,  and so on. Use a comma to separate internal dialogue from the rest to the sentence.

If you insist on using double quotation marks around thoughts (this is generally considered incorrect, even by people who are against italicizing thoughts for some bizarre reason), at least place the question mark outside the quotes here. (If you also insist on keeping the exclamation point, leave that inside the quotation marks: the thought itself is the exclamation, but the question is whether or not you have that thought.)

Either way, the two-dot fake ellipsis thing after think needs to be replaced with a comma.

If you want to write this the correct way, italicize the internal dialogue but don’t italicize the question mark.

Do you ever get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and think, That can’t be accurate?

(Yes, frequently. There are mornings when I think, This isn’t who I was when I was asleep.)



About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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