Don't Quote Me

My list of English language pet peeves is short but stocky. There’s the apostrophication addiction, the less-vs-fewer thing, the comma before an and, and how the Brits and Canadians throw u’s in after almost every o. I know, I know, they invented the language and we’re just a bunch of Yankee pikers. But honestly, why don’t the Canadians and the u’s just get a room?

The worst of my pet peeves is how people put quotes around everything. Or should I say, “quotes.”

That doesn’t irk you? OK, then, now picture me reading that last paragraph and putting my fingers in the air and fluttering them, bent. See? How do you “like” that?

Maybe people want to emphasize a word and don’t know how to use bold, or ALL CAPS or fonts like this. To really get people to look at your word, you can mix them all together for an EMPHASIS COCKTAIL.

But quotes? Quotes mean that the word inside is not exactly being used as it’s intended. There’s an invisible disclaimer surrounding it that screams NOT FOR REAL. For example, when you write a sign that says, Don’t Put “Hand” in Fence or My “Rottie” Will Tear You “Limb to Limb” you can’t help but picture a little Pekingese in a scarf tossing around a stuffed teddy bear. People who are serious don’t use quotes. People you should fear won’t “cut” you. They’ll just cut you.

I hear Mexicans love to use quotes whenever possible. Mexico is full of quotation marks. Why? They’ve already got the tilde, accents and other exotic punctuation marks.

My husband actually strained his index finger making air quotes once. He called it his “quote injury unquote.” That’s wrong on so many levels.

My son Mike shares my dislike of quote-arrhea. He’s still talking about the “Bake Sale” we went to and his friend’s dad who put a sign on their toilet to jiggle the handle when you “flush.”

You know what the worst part of writing a blog like this is? I had to go back an proofread this a hundred times to make sure I wasn’t misusing quotes, apostrophes, commas, u’s and ands. I’m sure I missed some. Nobody’s “perfect.”

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