Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quotation Mark Fail: "1" Ball Per Person




Nothing brings a snort of derision faster than misused quotation marks. A few friendly Twitter friends pointed me toward this tweet from @iamliam.

Where does this sign go wrong? These quotation marks cause us to question the rules at this ball pit. Help yourself to as many balls as you want! C'mon, everybody, let's all jump in the ball pit at once!

Quotation marks do not show emphasis. They do the exact opposite.

Quick rules:
  • Quotation marks are the equivalent of a wink, implying that the writer doesn't accept the word or phrase to be true. Mrs. Smith is notorious for her "10-minute" homework assignments that keep students up late every night.  
  • If you mean what you say, don't use quotation marks. Misusing quotation marks will make you the brunt of jokes.

Correction:
  • One ball per person. No more than 4 may play in one group.

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