My colleague and I have been wondering about this for a while...If you're referring to a title with a question mark or exclamation mark, which typically requires quotation marks around it, should you use a comma along with exclamation mark and quotation mark when continuing the sentence?

For example, should it be:

Newtown Arts Company will present Rogers and Hammerstein's classic musical “Oklahoma!,” the second show in its 2008 season.


Newtown Arts Company will present Rogers and Hammerstein's classic musical “Oklahoma!” the second show in its 2008 season.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Please note that American English likes to place the final punctuation mark inside a title or quotation, even though it doesn't form part of it.
The British regard this practice as illogical.
AmE: He's always wanted to read "Moby Dick," "Oliver Twist" and "The Great Gatsby."
BrE: He's always wanted to read "Moby Dick", "Oliver Twist" and "The Great Gatsby".
Here is the link to the site this came from if you want to check it yourself. The relevant section is near the bottom of the screen under the heading "quotation marks".


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Hi Ray,

Thanks for your help, however, I was wondering if there should be a comma when you have the title of a play (or book, or movie, etc.) with punctuation (like a question mark of exclamation mark) as part of the actual title. If I wanted to say - "Oklahoma!" the classic musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, will be performed on stage next week - would there be a comma between the exclamation point and quotation mark as normally there would be one.

I'm sorry if I'm not explaining this well! It's rather complicated to verbalize. Thanks!
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If you're writing informally for yourself and friends, use your own judgment.
If you're writing for a specific publication, use the style manual they recommend.
Often the answer is different depending on where your article is published.
My personal preference is ... musical "Oklahoma!", the second show ...
I guess I'm inclined to treat the punctuation as just another character. I'm even more inclined to adopt the BrE method, at which point the whole question becomes moot.
Thus, using the BrE method,
"Oklahoma!", the classic musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, will...

No muss, no fuss.
So I have two votes for "Oklahoma!", - thanks, guys! It's much appreciated!
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I just looked this up in the AP Stylebook. Their style is to omit the comma if the quoated material ends with a ! or ?

I'm not sure that this entirely logical, and U.S. style, despite being illogical, is so firmly fixed with the comma inside the quote that I can't advocate for putting it after.

Can you just rewrite to avoid the need for it? ... "Oklahoma!" as the second...

You can always use dashes if you ened to set off an entire section with commas.
The whole situation is very confusing, and yes, in the office, we try to rewrite it to avoid the question mark/comma/quotation composition. But there has to be an answer. Being raised with the "comma always goes on the inside on a quotation mark," putting one outside looks jarring.

However, thank you, everyone, for your help!
OK. I have a title that contains an exclamation point, e.g., Oklahoma!, it comes at the end of a question. Do I add the question mark at the end of the sentence, or treat the title as if it is a quotation and leave the question mark off, ending the sentence with the exclamation point of the title (within the quotation marks)?
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