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I have some dialogue between two people (a clerk and a person called John Doe). I want the clerk to say to John: "You're John Doe. Still." So I've punctuated it like this:

"You're John Doe. Still," said the clerk, whom John had talked to a few times before.
"Yes, I am."

The trouble is having that comma after the "Still". It sort of makes it look like the sentence is going to continue, as in "Still, I don't care who you are" or whatever. However, his sentence just ends, "Still."

How can I give that sentence the kind of finality I want with the full stop, rather than using a comma?

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I too would revise your sentence, but by placing the attribution first.

The clerk, with whom John had spoken a few times before, said, "You're John Doe. Still."

"Yes, I am."

  • This could also work perfectly fine. – Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron Mar 21 '15 at 21:59
  • This is actually what I ended up doing. – Jez Mar 21 '15 at 22:05
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I suggest you revise your current question to reflect a more general nature. Ask how quotes like this can be revised to achieve the effect you desire.

"You're John Doe. Still." The clerk raised an eyebrow.

The trick is to just end the sentence. Find some action (sigh, motion, whatever) for the clerk to do in the next sentence.

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