How does one punctuate narration that references such things as door numbers or street names?

For example:

Aaron slips through an unremarkable timber door, noteworthy only for the unlucky 13 painted on its front and the weathered sign that hangs above which reads, Mama Celina’s Kitchen.

Should 13 be bookended by commas? Should 13 and Mama Celina’s Kitchen be italicized or placed in quotation marks?

1 Answer 1


Questions about punctuation like this boil down to choice. Street names are usually written beginning with capital letters but no other punctuation. For example,

Bridge Street, Alexander Avenue.

House numbers are usually just written in digits with nothing else, but you could write them like '13'. This draws attention to the number and makes it stand out. Alternatively, you could just write the word. (I know some people think there are strict rules about when to use digits and when to use words, but I don't agree. For me it depends on the context, the purpose and what effect I want.)

Because you have used the word 'reads', I would write 'Mama Celina's Kitchen'. You've included a quotation of the actual words. Other people wouldn't bother with the quotation marks.

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