Heh, I was just thinking of doing that but you had the same idea first.
k.bookbinder wrote:In the U.S., it is taught that punctuation is always contained within the quotes. So "for instance," the comma is inside the quotes not "outside", as demonstrated here. This is especially true with sentence "endings." For some reason, it is a bad thing to end the sentence "like this". Even if the exclamation is your own, such as saying "I can't believe people are naming their kids 'Little Molpy!'" Which is double-awkward when you try to quote an exclamation and wish to continue following a coma. So if I was to quote something such as my friend, who shouted, "Look there's a Molpy!", and I want to continue the sentence, I have to break the rule and put the coma on the outside of the quote. This, I believe, is the only such exception.
Of course, I could be totally wrong about everything stated above. But throughout college, all of my history papers were written in this manner, and I never got dinged for those kinds of mistakes (and believe me, my profs were sticklers for punctuation, as any prof should be). I also believe this is the correct format for MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual styles. But again, for all I know I am completely wrong.
Popular lore has it that the closing quote marks helped keep the commas and periods from falling out the end of the row when setting movable type. (Though I don't understand why the quote mark itself didn't have the same issue.) For whatever reason this became accepted and then the rule in the United States but not in Europe. Now that the reason behind it is completely obsolete, I personally prefer the style that only has the thing you are quoting inside the quote marks.