I once had a paper trashed, not because it was rubbish (it was OK), but because I got the punctuation wrong. Being a new Brit at an American university, I thought that as long as I dropped my u’s and added some z’s to words, I’d be ok. I thought American English only fouled-up a few spellings. But no, it turns out even colonial punctuation is different.
Case in point, the humble inverted comma. Here’s the British and American style guide courtesy of the Cambridge University Press.
British style uses single inverted commas, except for quotations within quotations (which have double inverted commas). Punctuation should follow closing inverted commas except for grammatically complete sentences beginning with a capital. [‘Ronan’, he said, ‘can you please stop calling everyone “mate” and learn to say “dude” instead?’]
American style uses double inverted commas, except for quotations within quotations (which have single inverted commas). Punctuation should precede closing quotation marks (except for dashes, colons and semicolons, unless these are part of the quoted matter). [“Ronan,” he said, “can you please stop calling everyone ‘mate’ and learn to say ‘dude’ instead?”]
Here’s the question that needs to be answered, for it has all kinds of cosmic consequences: how should I punctuate here at BCC? I tend towards British spelling, but what about those inverted commas (etc.)?
Is American English the sacred tongue of Mormonism?
Should I embrace American style?
When do international flavours (sic) require harmonising (sic) with the mother culture?
Should I no longer fret over The Friend‘s indoctrination of my son into a world of Columbus-worship, US Army GA stories, American football, pumpkin carving instructions, and weird, grammatically bizarre expressions like “a long way’s away” (?) and “I could care less.”
And here’s one final question: is BCC an American blog?
There’s a lot of my British soul hanging on this inverted comma…
 I mean, why change colour to color but leave rough and although?