Quotations and Dialogue
Q. Hello! I’m copyediting a biography for a university press. I’m looking at a list that is quoted in running text with roman numerals, and it’s not nice to look at or particularly easy to read. The list items are short, and numbering isn’t even needed. (The quote is from a secondary source, so the author may not know the layout of the original source.) I’m wondering if I can delete the roman numerals or add punctuation without ellipses and/or brackets. Here’s the sentence in question:
The meeting approved a few basic principles: “The farmers of Canada had to unite to I. protect themselves, II. to obtain complete control of their produce, III. to market their produce themselves.”
Q. In Chicago style after how many words do you use a block quote?
Q. I’m currently copyediting a chapter in a contributed volume, where one of the authors quotes as follows: “that no purely third-person, theoretical proposal or model would suffice to overcome” “the conceptual gap between subjective experience and the brain.” My question concerns the closing double quotations marks and the opening double quotations marks that are placed next to each other. I think this looks rather clumsy. Could I put ellipsis points between two quotes if the latter quote actually comes before the first quote in the original source, as is the case here? Or should ellipsis points only be used if the original order of the quoted parts is retained?
Q. How does one handle a parenthetical phrase within dialogue? For example, is this correct? “Hi, Tiger (his father’s nickname for him). What are you doing?”
Q. I disagree with the following: The runner noted that, “This course is very difficult.” Better: The runner noted that “this course is very difficult.” Why the comma in the first example? Why uppercase the “T”? Do you agree with me?
Q. Is it permissible to modify the verb tenses in a quotation to fit the grammatical and/or aesthetic structure of a sentence, presuming that the meaning of the original is not otherwise altered?
Q. In a dialogue tag after a question or an exclamation (e.g., “What did you say?” she asked), should the initial letter of the tag be capitalized (“What did you say?” She asked) or should it remain lowercase?
Q. We have a quotation from a book source, just two sentences, and the author has taken the first part of the quote from page 5 and the second part of the quote from page 4, and she includes a 4-dot ellipse in the middle to indicate missing text. How do we source that? Do we write “pages 4–5” in the note? Or perhaps “5, 4” to indicate that it’s out of order? I’m hoping you won’t tell me to do two different notes or rewrite . . . and that you won’t correct the run-on sentence above. (:
Q. How should text message conversations be styled within a story to distinguish them from normal dialogue? I already use italics for internal thoughts, and it might be confusing to use the same technique for text messages. I also use quotes with italics when a character is thinking about another person’s dialogue. Would reading a text message be akin to that? Or can I just make up something completely different (e.g., < how r u >)?
Q. We are using quotes from community leaders who have supported our project over the years. Last year the name of the project changed from the Trinity Uptown Project to the Panther Island Project, and we are updating all materials to reflect that. One of the quotes from a community leader (who is now deceased) uses the term “Trinity Uptown.” What would be the proper way to amend that to show that the project is now called Panther Island while the original quote used the term Trinity Uptown?