Editorial style guide - Q

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question mark (?)

Sometimes you don't need to signal to your reader that you're asking a question:

Could you please send me an application form.

is acceptable email etiquette.


queue up

When describing the preparation of something, use cue up, not queue up.


quotation marks

When quoting direct speech use full quotation marks ("). For quotes within quotes use single quotation marks (inverted commas), placing a comma before the reported speech.

"Our Students' Union provides a range of services."
"He said, 'I don't think so' and he left."

In running text, don't be tempted to apply inverted commas to colloquial terms, clichéd phrases or technical jargon:

Our Students' Union runs a number of 'cool' club nights.

If the phrase is clichéd, try to replace it. If it's a technical term that won't be widely understood among your audience, you should either explain it or take it out. If the phrase really is a direct quote, make sure the source is explicit in the text and punctuate as above.

If you're going to use a colloquialism, use it. You don't need inverted commas. When referring to other publications by their titles, use italics rather than inverted commas.