Friday, September 3, 2010

Quotation Marks: Coming Clean in the Cafeteria

Thanks to @AugustusAnkle for tweeting about the grammar violation he spied in the Emory University cafeteria. (Boo-yah, Eagles!) 

Were does Emory go wrong? Its unrequired quotation marks make a mockery of beverage hygiene.

Quick rules:
  • In the same way you'd use air quotes to convey irony in oral speech, use quotation marks (a.k.a. scare quotes) around the key words or phrase. The quotation marks imply that you really mean the opposite of what you're saying. Let's hope this isn't another one of Steve's "bright ideas." I'd love to go back to that "four-star paradise" on our next vacation. I can see that her latest "Prince Charming" is a real ladies' man.
  • If you don't want to convey incongruity, don't use quotation marks.

Correction: It's Unsanitary To Use Outside Cups and Containers


  1. So it has almost brought around more of the sufficient prospects of either importance and hopefully proved to be much better.

  2. Is plagiarism really as big an issue as some news reports would have us believe? Are students wrong to use the odd choice paragraph or phrase to help spruce up their essay? See more grammar comma usage checker