Quotations and Dialogue

Q. How does one quote from an interview in which the interviewee uses the word “hashtag”? For example, “Anyone can do it, hashtag, write your own story,” with the hashtag being #WriteYourOwnStory.

A. The safest approach—one that will make it immediately clear which words belong to the hashtag—is to use quotation marks, as follows:

“Anyone can do it, hashtag ‘write your own story.’ ”

And note that there’s no need for a comma after the word “hashtag.”

Another option is to omit the quotation marks, a simpler but also less literal approach that’s best suited to dialogue in fiction and other creative contexts:

“We’ve been in the car for five hours now, hashtag are we there yet, hashtag I’m hungry.”

For the use of single quotation marks, as in the first example above, see CMOS 6.11 and 13.30.