I pit "people" who "misuse" "quotation marks".

I’m certain this has likely been discussed before, but for some reason every time I try to search the archives today, I get an error message. So here it is.

I actually do a bit about this in my standup set, because it makes me so irate.

When I go to my local grocery store, there are signs on some of the cash registers that say:


Why is that in quotation marks?

I see similar signs all over the place. For example, check this one out from foundmagazine (SFW).

Quotation marks are not the correct way to place “emphasis” on a “word”. What they do is cause me to think that the word you are using is a euphamism for something dirty, or the phrase you are quoting was said by someone published and/or famous. For example:
–George Washington

What the beans? Why do people do this? Where would someone learn that this is how things are supposed to be done?

Errrr…yeah! Cahier… another…um… french book… would…er… be pleased to assist you…


Off to “MPSIMS”.

Well, when “people” want to make “clear”–and I mean “absolute certain”–that something is a “stand-in” for “better” wording they will use this…“technique.” They do so because it is “preferred” to the method using “like.” To give example:

Well, when like people want to make like clear–and I mean like totally certain–that something is like just a standin for like better wording they will use like…this technique.

Like…another cahier would be pleased to assist you, dude. Like…ya know?

Hmm. I wonder why this was moved but the “loose/lose” one wasn’t?

“Would” this include “someone” like say, “Britney Spears”?

Isn’t it a mark to indicate insert two finger wiggle here. One for the left hand and one for the right hand. The “so called” expert didn’t agree with me. I swear I’m going to break a couple finger’s one day on a person that does the two handed, two finger emphasis wiggle in every sentence. They look like they’re starting the Chicken Dance. I keep expecting the wing flapping to come next. I think the next person that does that is getting a remark.

Me: “The next step is to flap your arms.”
Them: “What?” In a whiny your crazy voice.
Me: “The next step is to flap your arms.”
Them :“What the Hell are you talking about?”
Me: “You are trying do the Chicken Dance, aren’t you?”

I’ll admit I sometimes use quotation marks to indicate a word or phrase in being used in an ironic manner. For example: Britney Spears’ musical “talent” has sold million of records.

What annoys me about quotation marks is when they are misused for purposes of quotation. It’s a quote people - use the words that were said.

RIGHT: Britney Spears said, “I figure I’ve got two more albums in me before my boobs drop too far for me to sell records.”
WRONG: Spears went on to say that when she does retire “she’s leaving Federline and going back home to her mama.”

“Me,” too.

During my university years I worked at a roast chicken takeaway shop - I never did manage to convince the manager that advertising:

“Chicken” burgers $5

wasn’t going to instill much consumer confidence! :wink:

You 'pit “people” who “misuse” “quotation marks”. '? Pretty “anal”.

My favorite example of this ever was a handwritten sign posted on the door to a post office just after a snow storm. It said: Please wipe your “feet.”

My sister and I about died laughing. Your “feet”? As opposed to what, your hooves?

Just wanted to chime in to say this drives me absolutely batshit as well. I always read the words in quotation marks with a sarcastic tone (in my head, of course). Even reading through this tread is driving me nuts, because I can’t stop doing it. It is such a simple concept, people! I can’t believe advertising editors let this slide in print ads.

Even though those signs are incorrect, I don’t think they’re as egregious as quoting individual words. Probably just written by someone with an imperfect grasp of the (admittedly sometimes mysterious) rules of punctuation. ‘Somebody said it, so it should have quotes around it’ is probably the line of thinking. The fact that signs are usually there to inform the reader of something, and that the quotes are not really necessary unless they’re also giving the context of that dialog, probably went right over his/her head.

No doubt about it, [/url=“http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/washington/george1.html”]George Washington perused tons of cahiers in his day.


" Cartooniverse "

Uh…yeah…coding is my friend, Preview is my sworn enemy…

George Washington

As far as “misuse” (or maybe… evolving use… shudder) of punctuation goes, using “air quotes” in conversation or “sarcasm quotes” in writing doesn’t really bother me… Instead, what really “grinds my gears” is using an apostrophe to indicate not a possessive, but as a separator between a noun and the plural ‘s’ terminator. Usually I see this done in an attempt to avoid confusion with an acronym, or a noun ending in a vowel.

For example I have recently seen:



Those are called “scare quotes”, used to distance the author’s view from terms being used. That’s not exactly what the OP was complaining about; the OP was talking about using quotes where they are used essentially for decoration.

“This” is why the comic strip “Curtis” drives me “batshit crazy”.

A sign on the kitchen cabinet at work:
We will be having “a” cake for so-and-so’s birthday tomorrow.
And, no, it wasn’t implying that there would be more than one cake, it was just that the writer really felt the need to quote something.