Doo-doo-DOO-doo, Doo-doo-DOO-doo

(First, it’s been over a year since I blogged!!  I see I had started a piece twice – once when I was at ALA – I should’ve posted that one.  I should do better.)

I’m home on a snow/ice day (snice day?) and working on a presentation I’m doing this Friday with my dissertation advisor at the Nebraska Reading Association conference called, “Diversity in Rural Classroom Libraries:  Build Your Classroom Culture Through the Books on Your Shelf .”  It’s mostly for classroom teachers, but obviously I come at it from a librarian point of view.  But while I was eating breakfast with my husband (a mailman, so he has Presidents’ Day off), we started a friendly argument on one of my biggest pet peeves, when people put commas and periods outside of quotation marks, and depending on the sentence, exclamation points and question marks too.

It should be:

Hans Gruber said, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.”  NOT
Hans Gruber said, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho”.
If we’re considering question marks or exclamation points, it might differ.  If I were asking a question about a line, it might be outside the quotation mark:
Did Hans Gruber say, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho”?
But if the question is part of what you are quoting, it goes inside the quotation mark:
John McClane asked, “Glass?  Who gives a shit about glass?”
And same goes for exclamation points:
John McClane looked out the broken window and called out, “Welcome to the party, pal!”
It’s inside the quotation mark because what John was saying was an exclamation.

John McClane looked out the broken window and called out, “Welcome to the party, pal!”

But this is also correct:
I can’t believe she said, “You should use quotes from Die Hard“!
I think my family argues this with me to irk me, honestly, but my husband swore that he was taught it goes on the outside.  He thought maybe the standard for it had changed.  So I decided to prove him wrong.  We decided the New York Times would have had it correct, so I went to their TimesMachine and found some old articles to prove my point.  I used “librarians” as my search term, just because.  I found this:

Well that’s great, because it shows the period inside the quotation mark (last sentence) and it had me thinking about diversity as far as religious books go.  In the above article, the quoted librarian said that Catholics would like some books on the ALA Religious Books Round Table (wonder when that RT went away?), but some they wouldn’t like, while Protestants would like some and dislike others.  I discussed this with my daughter who said, “It’s like in Blues Brothers – we have both kinds of religion, Catholic and Protestant!”  (Obviously paraphrasing.)  I thought this would be an important point to make, when we talk about diversity we often think of race and sexuality first, but religion can come into play, too, especially in a high school library.  A mentor of mine, Becky Pasco of University of Nebraska-Omaha, reminded me once in a class the importance of making sure your high school library has books for religious kids as well.  You might think that since most kids in my rural Iowa library likely identify as Christian that that wouldn’t be difficult to do, but honestly, most YA fiction kids want to read is not geared to the adherent.  But even so, when we do make a point to put books for the adherent teen in our collection, we can’t assume they are only Catholic or Protestant.

ANYWAY, I decided this was all a good point to make for the presentation, at least for a couple of slides.  So I wanted to get the image from the movie where she paraphrased the line.  The scene actually goes like this:

Jake:  What kind of music do you usually have here?
Waitress:  Oh we got both kinds! Country and western!
I found it without too much trouble and went to the original post (here) to see who had it up:
I read the post -Aaron D. Wolf, the blogger, wrote about as a religion writer, he straddles the line of not offending this sect and that sect when it comes to his friends.  He wrote:

The truth is, I know a lot of people from diverse backgrounds.  I’ve lived many lives.  I’m interested in a lot of things.  I’m blessed to have many friends.  And I don’t normally choose to bring up the thorniest of subjects when I’m with any one particular friend or set of friends.  Except maybe the intrinsic value of a fried-baloney sandwich, which I harp on even with those who find it disgusting. . . .

Posts on any of these topics are likely to offend someone.  Please feel free to add a comment if you like—agree or disagree.

As Francis Schaeffer used to say, shake up the bottle, and we’ll see what bubbles forth.

Or, as LL Cool J says, if you don’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains.

Then, as I am wont to do, I go down to the comments.  And honestly, push me over with a feather.  The first one says:

I had to go up and make sure I agreed with Polly on how Mr. Wolf punctuated his piece.  I figured it’d be correct or I wouldn’t have thought it was well-written, which I did.  Of course it was punctuated correctly.  It’s just weird how what goes around comes around, even in the matter of an hour or two.

But my friends, THIS is how I don’t get anything accomplished on snow/ice days.

Oh now I better find out when the ALA quit having a Religious Books Round Table.  That won’t take but a minute . . .

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