Jul 23, 2008

Using the Correct "Marks"

I am no expert in English. It is a second language for me, so even when my level is pretty advanced -I write, read and speak at a very decent level-, I still have a lot to learn.

Nevertheless, I never considered quotation marks a challenging punctuation mark.

To start with, the name already tells you for what are meant: to quote a person or to indicate the name of a book or a title. I also understand that a secondary common use is to indicate that you are using a word in a sentence not by its true meaning but as someone else uses it, giving it almost the opposite meaning. It has an ironic side, in some way implying you don't really believe that is the right word to apply there.

Then, I trip over "The 'Blog' of 'Unnecesary' Quotation Marks"... and I couldn't believe my eyes!

It seems that a lot of people out there are convinced that the main purpouse of the quotation marks is to give emphasis to a word, what only contributes to a terrible overuse of this particular punctuation mark.

I started reading the blog and seeing the pictures and instantly it came to my mind an episode from Friends, where "smart" Joey confessed he really didn't understand how the quotation marks are used in a conversation. So I searched for the episode, edited/cut it and here it is for your amusement:

Meanwhile, here are some other funny pictures from such unique blog:

But the "Quotation Marks" website has much, much more funny pictures.

So if you want to see more, just visit them (and start checking around, chances are you will easily find a sign near you to make your own contribution to such a wonderful collection of horrible uses!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the first example, the intention could have been to use the slang term dogs, meaning feet... as in "man, my dogs are barkin'!" The meaning of the sign would then be "please don't go walking all over my lawn".

Just a thought.