The reason a comma is put in between the book titles is because, while they are in quotation marks, they are still part of a list. When listing things, you put a comma in between each item. For example, if you were to say “He likes bananas, oranges, and carrots”, you would have to put commas between each item that “He” is said to like. How these commas are placed is a matter of debate for some people, since many are starting to avoid using the Oxford comma. If you do not use the Oxford comma, the sentence would read “He likes bananas, oranges and carrots.”
Hi Beth, Thank you very much for your article. It is very useful, and even more for a foreigner like me (I’m French). I wrote a novel in my language and since last September, I have been working on its translation in English. The second part of the story is taking place in England and the main characters are French. When they speak to each other, they use a mixture of French and English words. I decided to italicise the English words. Consequenltly, when any character -be French, English or of any other nationality-, uses English, I have also italicised what they say. Is there a rule for that particular situation ?
Also some characters who are not French use French when they speak. Should it be italicised ? Merci for your help. Vincent
Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.