Quotations and Dialogue

Q. When I proofread, I am often requested to list the corrections in a note. An example of a note is: I recommend deleting “a querulous comment”. I put the period outside the closing quotation mark. I think what I’m reading in CMOS 6.9 would make my punctuation incorrect. Am I correct in this assumption?

A. No. Assuming that you want the editor to delete the words “a querulous comment” and nothing more—not even the period that follows—your punctuation is correct. Ignore the guideline in CMOS; common sense must prevail. You are trying to convey what should be deleted, and you must not put anything within the quotation marks unless you want it deleted. Given the nature of your list, you may wish to avoid end punctuation so the issue becomes moot.