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Does anyone out there truly understand how to use quotation marks? (If you’re unsure, check out the Gallery of Misused Quotation Marks for some enlightenment.)

Here’s a quick recap for some of the more common — proper — uses:

  1. As the title of a minor work (this can be stylistic rather than grammatical, depending on the publication’s own style guide). Ex: The song “Stripped” is from the album Music for the Masses.
  2. To quote somebody. Ex: “That’s hot,” said the skank.
  3. To introduce a new word or phrase. Example: Parents should know that children often “dis” their friends.
  4. To show disapproval, disownment, irony, or sarcasm. See: scare quotes

There are other uses, but these are some of the more common ones. Why then do people insist on misusing and abusing the poor quotation mark? Seriously, people, if the quotation mark were a mammal, PETA would be all over your shit by now. Treat the delicate quotation mark with care and it will only help you. Treat it scornfully, and you’ll reap its wrath.

Case in point:
Misused quotation marks

Putting your program’s name in quotes makes it liable for category 4. Hell, if you, the parking service I’m paying, don’t really care, why the hell should I park with you? I’m certainly not going to believe you’re going to provide any of the subsequent services for “free.” So “bite me.”

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1 Comment

  1. Heather

    A-fucking-men, soul sister. We are so cosmically connected at this very moment.

    Here’s another one that irks me:
    A TV program starts (say, Dexter), and the name of the episode appears onscreen in quotes. NOT necessary, bitches. If you are going to apply style to your credits, then why isn’t the name of the TV show in italics in the title sequence?

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