Why do dress shirts have tails?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JDMcDaniel, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. JDMcDaniel

    JDMcDaniel Well-Known Member

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    On a shirt to be worn tucked, what difference does this make relative to a straight shirt bottom one would see on a "bowling shirt"? Is it that the shirts with tails can accomodate a greater variation in hip size?

    Also, should the question mark be inside or outside the quotation marks there?
     
  2. Tom

    Tom Senior member

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    The rounded tail uses less fabric and is less likely to bunch up in your trousers making you look silly. The question mark should remain outside the quotations as it signifies the end of the sentence.
     
  3. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Senior member

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    I believe the question mark should remain inside the quotes.

    Dan
     
  4. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    Correct; although if the explanation given for why is accurate, then American grammar rules are generally flexible enough to allow for placing the question mark outside the quotes. Tom edit-to fix grammar that is wrong under any system
     
  5. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    I believe that Tom is partially correct. If the sentence were to remain as written, the question mark should be outside the quotation marks. However, using more of a world view, why are the quotation marks there at all? In this case, a shirt is a common item. The word bowling is used merely as an adjective to modify the word shirt. Nuttin' special. Now, as to the tails. The rear ones are bun covers. The front ones ... well, they're there to cover him. Ain't nothing to cover on the sides. Anyway, we like to give the seamstresses a bit of a challenge going round those small radius curves.
     
  6. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    I believe that in other countries, punctuation outside of quotation marks is more standard. It makes more sense from logical standpoint, the item is a "bowling shirt" not a "bowling shirt?". To me it seems like the same concept as in mathematical equations that involve parentheses, quotes should be used to isolate anything that requires quotes.
     
  7. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    The reason the rule about the quotes is confusing is that teachers have drilled it into your head about how a quoted question is written. He asked, "Is she really going out with him?" - Correct He asked, "Is she really going out with him"? - Incorrect If I'm the one asking the question, the rules are different: I ask you, is that really a "bowling shirt"? - Correct I ask you, is that really a "bowling shirt?" - Incorrect
     
  8. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    It certainly seems to make more logical sense in this case to say "bowling shirt"?  Although as Mr Kabbaz stated, the quotes aren't really appropriate anyway.  I should have clarified the information that came from that Webster's link earlier:  the reason the punctuation is inside the quotes is because of the vagaries of early printing presses, not any odd linguistic minutiae.  If Mrs Gerstle in second grade had tried to teach that, I'm not sure how well my seven-year-old brain would have comprehended--much easier to teach the rules first and the exceptions later.

    Tom
     
  9. stache

    stache Senior member

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    Wouldn't the single quotation mark be more appropriate? ( ' bowling shirt ' )? Saving the double quotation mark for actual quotations, movie titles etc.?
     
  10. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    J is correct, according to standard American usage.
     
  11. artdeco73

    artdeco73 Well-Known Member

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    I basically concur with Mr. Kabbaz, with the possible exception that the word bowling could go in quotes since it is not a shirt actually worn while bowling, but merely one styled like it. So, Would you call this a "bowling" shirt? -- Correct Regards, Tony
     
  12. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Oh man, it's great to see a grammar discussion on the styleforum. I mean, great. Everyone is correct, in this case. Quotation marks used to set off a term - the term quoted is exempt from the sentence's structural punctuation, therefore the punctuation should be kept out of the quotation marks. If it's an actual quoted statement, punctuation should be inside.

    Shirt tails on a shirt meant to be tucked in are meant to keep the shirt tucked in. If a shirt was just really long all around, the fabric would add excess bulk.

    Here's a puzzler:
    When citing an article using APA style (so, in text reference in parentheses follwing the quote/reference), where does one put quotation marks?

    Example:
    A famous shirtmaker claims "The rear ones are bun covers." (Kabbaz, 2004)
    or
    A famous shirtmaker claims "The rear ones are bun covers (Kabbaz, 2004)."
    or
    A famous shirtmaker claims "The rear ones are bun covers. (Kabbaz, 2004)"
    or
    A famous shirtmaker claims "The rear ones are bun covers" (Kabbaz, 2004).

    This is a mystery to me, and I have the APA books on my shelf. I want to keep the parenthetical reference within the end punctuation, but that can throw off the quote, especially if there's special punctuation (question mark).
     
  13. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Senior member

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    Movie titles should be italicized ideally, underlined if italization is not an option (hand written). Never use quotes though.

    Shoreman, my guess would be the last one, but only because I think it looks MOST correct.

    Dan
     
  14. JDMcDaniel

    JDMcDaniel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, the added bulk explanation seems obvious now.

    The grammar discussion has been elucidating.

    I put the phrase "bowling shirt" in quotes to make sure it was understood not to reference a shirt one would wear when bowling, but rather all square bottom shirts. The former meaning I imagined eliciting comments about the relevance of the square bottom to bowling in particular.
     
  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    From the United Press International Newswire Stylebook: Example 1: Why call it a "gentlemen's agreement"? Example 2, multiple quotation marks: "The question is 'does this position violate the "gentlemen's 'poste-haste' agreement" so eloquently described by my colleague as "tommyrot"?'" In other words, when using quotation marks to indicate a quotation, the ? or . goes inside the " ". When using quotation marks to indicate phrases in ironical uses; slang expressions; misnomers; titles of books; plays; poems; songs; lectures or speeches when the full title is used; hymns; movies; TV programs; bowling shirt, etc. the ? or . goes outside the " ".
     

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