Yesterday, someone asked me why publishers only put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph when the speech goes on for more than one. I’ve been researching this today.
According to Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, he explains that “in quoted speech lasting more than one paragraph, there is an initial quotation mark and one at the beginning of each subsequent paragraph to indicate that the speech continues, but no quotation mark at the end of each paragraph”. The reason for this is because the speech does not finish until the final closing quotation mark.
Here is an example:
“From a very young age I have wanted to write. I have kept diaries and journals since the age of four; however, I never had anything published until a few years ago and they were only letters and the odd write up in magazines.
“This year I decided that in order to improve my writing skills and be a more confident write, I would start a blog. The plan was to learn something new about writing each day for a year and blog about it to teach others.
“It’s been a real eye opener and has already led to many things directly and indirectly. This includes having a publisher interested in my book and also having this blog featured in Writing Magazine“.
Explaination: Notice how each paragraph begins with quotation marks, but only the last paragraph ends with quotation marks.
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Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK