Here’s my highly awaited wisdom on the single-/double-quote dilemma, which has probably plagued you daily and interrupted your every-night’s sleep. I can assure you my wisdom is worth the wait.
Single Quotations are used for:
A quote within a quote: “Erica said, ‘I’ll never marry again,’ but I don’t believe her,” I said at the time, and she went on to marry and divorce for the fifth time.
A title of a song, radio program, TV episode, etc., within a quote: “I like the song ‘Yesterday’ better than the song ‘Anticipation’!” squealed Bob.
Double Quotations are used for:
A direct quote: “Mom, please come get me!” Roberta screamed.
Titles of songs, TV episodes, book chapters: “Yesterday” is one of the most famous songs in the world. The I Love Lucy episode “Ricky Loses His Voice” was on Channel 312 this morning. Alex can’t wait to read “Is Your Voice Out of Tune?” (Chapter 2) of his book Music Forever.
Now you can rest in peace.
My English Quarters
Hallie Belt, M.A. and B.A., English