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Editorial standards

1. Quotations: the standards for punctuation are as follows: 

  • the quotation is entirely embedded in the text and consists of only a few words: The cicada in the fable was forced to seek help "from the ant next door". Full stop outside the inverted commas.

  • The beginning of the quotation is faded into the text but it ends with a complete sentence: Mme Lepic compares Poil de Carotte's hair to "drum sticks. He would wear out a pot of ointment every morning". Full stop outside the inverted commas.

  • The quotation begins with a complete sentence. Its first word is capitalized: The poet Terence said, "I am a man and nothing human is foreign to me. Full stop inside the inverted commas.

2. Placement of note calls: The note call always precedes the punctuation mark. At the end of a sentence, it is followed by the full stop. At the end of a quotation, it is placed before the closing inverted comma: Chateaubriand calls him "the great expiator1 ". 

3. The use of capitals in titles:

a. the title does not begin with the definite article: the initial word alone is capitalized. e.g. À la recherche du temps perdu; Une saison en enfer

b. the title begins with the definite article

  • the title is a sentence: the initial article is capitalized only. e.g. The King is amused. 

  • it is a title of a specialised work or the title of a newspaper or magazine: capitalise the initial article only. e.g. The birth of philosophy

  • the title is symmetrical: the initial article is capitalized and each term is parallel. e.g. Beauty and the Beast

  • in other titles: capitalise the initial article, the first noun and the adjectives and adverbs that precede it. e.g.: Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

4. For bibliographical references in notes, the usage is as follows:

  • for a quotation from a book : 

    First name (in full, not initial only) Last name (lower case: no small or capital letters), Title, place of publication (even if Paris), publisher, series (if any; in the form: coll. "XXX"), year, page.

  • for a quotation from a chapter of a collective book:

    First name Last name, "Title of chapter", in Title of collective work, First name Last name (dir.), place of publication, publisher, series (if applicable; in the form: coll. "XXX"), year, page.

  • For a quotation from a periodical article:

    First name Last name, "Title of the article", title of the periodical, year, number (no. 4), page.

Care should therefore be taken, in order to avoid tedious later corrections, to mention all the first names, the dates and places of publication, the page of the quotation; in the case of old periodicals, always check whether the article is part of the title or not (which determines the use of capitals and italics): all of which we mention because they are the problems most frequently encountered when preparing the copy.

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