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I am writing a diary, and I want to begin it with a famous quote, but I am not sure whether it is acceptable to do it this way:

Jeff Atwood, [article] CTO of Stack Overflow, said that "The English StackExchange site will pwn the crap out of all the other English language resource sites on the interwebs."

instead of

"The English StackExchange site will pwn the crap out of all the other English language resource sites on the interwebs," said Jeff Atwood, CTO of Stack Overflow.

I have read this page for how to quote someone's words: Is there a proper way to quote something someone said in a press release without using the form: said Nate?

And do I have to use an article before the position if he is a school teacher, or policeman?

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The second example is fine. However in the first one, if you are going to use inverted commas (speech marks) you should not include the word "that".

Either of the following is correct.

John said "Japanese is a difficult language to learn".

John said that Japanese was a difficult language to learn. (No quotation marks required)

It would though be wrong to write:

John said that "Japanese is a difficult language to learn".

Your first sentence follows this format. But as you are not quoting direct speech you do not need, nor should you include, quotation marks.

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    "Jeff said that '[quote]'" is fine too, as long as the sentence still works if the quoted text is parsed as unquoted text. – fectin - free Monica Apr 25 '17 at 4:50
  • @fectin Possibly. I wouldn't argue over such a precise point. But it doesn't pass the idiomatic test for me. – WS2 Apr 25 '17 at 7:11
  • Example: John said that Japanese "is a difficult language to learn". – fectin - free Monica Apr 25 '17 at 7:13
  • @fectin That's fine. I don't have a problem with that because you are just using the quotation marks to indicate that those were John's exact words. But when you quote an entire sentence, you drop the "that" - since it's not needed. But life's far too short to get pedantic about such a thing. However it is important to remember that where "that" is used the whole sentence must make grammatical sense, irrespective of the inclusion of quotation marks. John said that "It's a nice day isn't it" is no use to man nor beast. – WS2 Apr 25 '17 at 7:17

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