I spent a lot of time this week editing an extremely carefully done transcription of a focus group with Spanish-speaking women. As is often the case, I moved many commas and periods from after closing quotation marks to before them. That is because Spanish and English have different rules. Turns out English (American) and English (British) also have different rules. The first website I looked at really shook me up. It's titled Askmehelpdesk
and here's a sample of what I found there.
"I am a 55 year old editor - who is not doing my homework - for your info, in England they do it one way (outside) and in America the other (inside), so I was asking more to find out if it could be done the British way in America still or if it would be considered "wrong". You seem to be full of yourself from your college education - sorry to be so blunt, but not only were you of no help, you were patronizing to boot. I read your profile to see if you had the qualification of an editor, and you don't, so I would suggest you get down off of your high horse and you might learn something."
Wow! Not only politics elicits hostility. But it does seem that the British and the Spanish follow the same convention. According to Wikipedia
The traditional convention in American English and in Canada is so-called "aesthetic" punctuation, or "typesetters' quotation", where full stops and commas are included inside quotation marks even if they are not part of the quoted sentence. The style used in the UK, and to a less extent in the U.S., is so-called "logical punctuation", which stays true to the punctuation used by the original source, placing commas and full stops inside or outside quotation marks depending on where they were placed in the material that is being quoted. As such, it involves a greater degree of precision from writers when done correctly. Scientific and technical publications, including in the U.S., almost universally use it for that reason. ...
Before the advent of mechanical type, the order of quotation marks with full stops and commas was not given much consideration. The printing press required that the easily damaged smallest pieces of type for the comma and full stop be protected behind the more robust quotation marks. Typesetters' style still adheres to this older tradition in formal writing. It is always taught to American schoolchildren when they learn how to draft prose, and is strictly observed in most books, newspapers, magazines, and journals.
Spanish, being perhaps neither aesthetic nor logical—but consistent, puts everything outside of the quotation marks, when they even use traditional quotation marks. (Actually, I find it to be very aesthetic and pretty logical.) That, however, is for another day. Along with question and exclamation marks.