Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quotation Marks: Mmm, Mmm, Good?

Abusing quotation marks is the fastest way to become the butt of jokes. When in doubt, don't go there.

Where does this go wrong? Just as the gesture of making air quotes conveys that we don't really buy into what we're saying, using quotation marks can convey the opposite of what the quoted words actually mean. There is an implied sarcasm. Is the breakfast really "good" here? Har har. Yeah, right, we'll just have to take your word for it.

Quick rule: Don't use quotation marks if you mean what you're saying.

Correction: It's never too late for a good breakfast.

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