Quotations

Q. Lots of questions here seem to boil down to a choice between rigorous consistency and a pleasing typographic appearance. Here’s another one. I was wondering about double quotation marks when shortening an article title in a footnote. If the full title of the article is “‘Un bell’oratorio all’uso di Roma’: Patronage and Secular Context of the Oratorio in Baroque Rome,” should I leave the double quotation marks when giving the short title, i.e., “‘Un bell’oratorio all’uso di Roma’”? It looks a bit silly, this doubly enshrined title. I would appreciate your take on this!

A. Yes, in the case of a title, use both double and single marks to make it clear that it’s a quotation. This is in contrast to using only one set when excerpting quoted speech from an original source. For instance, if Alice says, “The next question is, ‘Who in the world am I?’” and we want to quote part of that, it’s sufficient to write that Alice asks, “Who in the world am I?”