Don’t lose sleep over this confusing comma rule

One punctuation matter that might keep you up at night is whether to place commas when they appear mid-sentence. Well, you can quote me on this: Commas appear inside quotation marks, according to the book “Use the Right Word,” and other sources.

The British, however, place the comma outside of the quotation mark. But they also drive down the left side of the road.

This American peculiarity soon may be put to rest, though. Many websites place the comma outside of the quotation mark so that the comma doesn’t become part of a link (The title of that book, after all, probably is linked to its page.); having a comma as part of the link looks a little untidy, after all. In fact, in my print books, I place the comma inside but on my websites the comma always goes outside.

Given this, don’t be surprised if in a quarter century or so we revise this rule for print. For the moment, though, tuck that comma inside the quotation mark and sleep tight.