Unnecessary quotation marks

please open door slowly
As seen on our recent trip to Florida, on the door of Down the Hatch, a coastal restaurant on Daytona Beach.

It shouldn’t need to be said here, but I’ll say it anyway: Quotation marks do not provide emphasis. Rather, they indicate that the material contained therein is being quoted. Hence the name of the marks. For emphasis, many techniques could be effective here. Bold, italics, underline, all caps [when the whole sign isn’t in caps], asterisks around the word, larger font, different font, different color — these are just a few of the options preferable to quotation marks. While I may not *love* all of these options, they’d all be better than quotation marks.

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8 responses to “Unnecessary quotation marks

  1. That sign is so funny!

  2. Man, you just see unnecessary quotation marks “everywhere.” Seriously, they are annoying, although sometimes mildly hilarious.

  3. Reminds me of that ep of FRIENDS where Joey doesn’t get when he is supposed to use the quotation mark gesture. Hilar!

  4. This has “always” been a “good” laugh: http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

  5. Too funny. I think that I have been guilty of this on Twitter though. Dang it. Thanks for the lesson!

  6. Obviously signs like this are the reason that Tim Winton never includes speech marks in his novels. He has obviously sacrificed his share so that others can inappropriate use them in their signs (and tweets). I’ve just finished reading his latest novel, Breath, and find myself wondering once again why such a gifted writer refuses to punctuate speech correctly.

    While misplaced apostrophe’s’ are my personal nemesis, I do find misused quotation marks almost as annoying. Thanks for sharing.

    • I read Winton’s Cloudstreet last year, but I don’t remember him not using any quote marks. I did mention it in my review, though (I just went and checked!), saying it took some getting used to.

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