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Quotations and Dialogue
Q. I am copyediting a historic work which includes quite a number of implied quotes, such as the following, where no quotation marks have been used: As Robert Choquette says, the wide range of theological tenets within Protestantism makes too much generalization about the feelings and reactions of clergy dangerous. I realize there are situations where quotation marks are not required, such as: Jane asked him to come to dinner but he said he had another commitment, but “As Robert Choquette says” certainly reads as though a direct quote should follow. Am I being too paranoid or pedantic? I would much appreciate your advice on this.
A. There is no need to quote a paraphrase; in fact, it would be wrong, since then you would be indicating that the person actually said or wrote those exact words, when he didn’t. If you suspect that your author has plagiarized, however, or simply made a mistake in copying verbatim from a source without noting it with quotation marks, then that’s a separate issue, which should be queried.