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Quotations and Dialogue
Q. I need help with the placement of double, single, double quotes in a short quotation (it can’t be an extract, which would solve the problem nicely). Here’s the sentence: “This book uses Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of concrescence as ‘the name for the process in which the universe of many things acquires an individual unity in a determinate relegation of each item of the “many” to its subordination in the constitution of the novel “one.”’” I feel like that last bit can’t possibly be correct: it’s double quotes around the last word (one), followed by the single quote mark that closes the inner quote, followed by the double quote mark that closes the outer quote. You say . . . ?
A. Believe it or not, that’s right! However, instead of using a block quotation, it’s often possible to avoid quotation mark pileups by paraphrasing the framing quotation: Her book adopts Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of concrescence: “the name . . .”