Levels of Distractibility: Who cares? = *. Some people will be distracted from your meaning: = **. Many people will be distracted from your meaning: = ***.
Question: Okay, I will remember that commas and periods ALWAYS are placed INSIDE closing quotation marks. What about semicolons and colons?
Answer: Glad you asked. The answer is another ALWAYS. Semicolons and colons ALWAYS are placed OUTSIDE closing quotation marks.
I just finished reading the short story "Most Dangerous Game"; it was one of the best stories I ever read.
The president entitled his speech, "The Future of Barvard College": "It will surprise you," he said.
Rating of Distraction: (***). Who says punctuation is complicated? In America, you ALWAYS place COMMAS and PERIODS INSIDE closing quotation marks. You ALWAYS place SEMICOLONS and COLONS OUTSIDE closing quotation marks.
But there is one slight complication. Question marks and Exclamation points. I'll go over those marks of punctuation next.