Strunk & White's Elements of Style will destroy your literary mind. Although fetching, the blackest of poisons lie within its simple, declarative sentences; its rejection of florid text; and its fecund use of the semicolon.

My only salvation was my critical eye. They insisted upon the inclusion of punctuation in quotations, as in:

Judy said, "I am leaving."
"I am leaving," said Judy.
-- When Judy uttered a three-word, declarative sentence.

I argued that the first was more correct, as it more accurately rendered the actual scene. In the second, the reader may interpret the quotation to indicate that Judy went on to say more about leaving. The more proper usage would be:

Judy said, "I am leaving."
"I am leaving.", said Judy.

The reason we use quotation marks is to accurately delineate the point where the authorship changes. Injecting our own punctuation into another's work simply serves to confuse the reader.

Having voiced my opinions, I waited for Strunk & White's response; but, none came. For all their forthright statements, they did not reason why they chose one construction over another. At this, my eyes widened; for I had espied their weakness.

They rarely reasoned; they simply mandated usage in a commanding style. What fools did they take us for? That because they used the semicolon with facility, we would automatically follow their every word?

Having been destroyed, I am reborn.