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"'Worrying" quote marks." Topic

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756 hits since 7 Mar 2015
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Last Hussar07 Mar 2015 6:24 a.m. PST

You often see quote marks used incorrectly. Now I think most people here will know how to use them to imply things

The old billionaire brought his 'niece'.,/q>

but you see them used by people who are either don't understand their use, or think they will provide some sort of protection

'Fresh' fish…

The most worrying I've seen was the other day on the official UK Police Record of Interview sheet. At the top there is all the usual stuff, Name, interviewing officers, date, time etc. Then there are two tick boxes and the question

The interview was 'compulsory' or 'voluntary'

How does a 'voluntary' interview differ from a voluntary one?

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member07 Mar 2015 6:57 a.m. PST

the voluntary one doesn't involve thumbscrews or cattleprods.

Maddaz111 Inactive Member07 Mar 2015 12:13 p.m. PST

they volunteered to come to the station, knowing that the alternative was being arrested..

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member07 Mar 2015 1:38 p.m. PST

"Thanks" "for" "sharing""."

StarfuryXL507 Mar 2015 8:26 p.m. PST

There is also the confusion about when to use double quote marks or single quote marks.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2015 5:31 a.m. PST


I'm not quite sure what I'm being told to beware but it's got me scared.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member08 Mar 2015 7:46 a.m. PST

Who let him "out"?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2015 9:02 a.m. PST

I often use quotation marks "incorrectly" with respect to the written rules of grammar (Little, Brown; Strunk & White; Chicago; [Insert Name of Organization] Guide; etc.) on purpose because they do not jive with preservation of semantic sense.

The big (and easy) example of this is that it is pretty much universal to put a punctuation mark inside quotation marks when it follows the end of the quoted portion. That never made sense to me. The punctuation mark belongs to the broader semantic construct of the sentence, not to the partitioned concept inside the quotation marks.

tkdguy08 Mar 2015 12:00 p.m. PST

When something is "voluntary" it means someone else in his/her generosity to volunteer you do something you'd rather not do.

"Fresh" fish is only two days old.

A "clean" tissue means it has only been used once.

jpattern2 Inactive Member08 Mar 2015 2:10 p.m. PST

I must have seen 50 roadside signs for fresh "FOOD" in my life.

StarfuryXL508 Mar 2015 4:31 p.m. PST

The big (and easy) example of this is that it is pretty much universal to put a punctuation mark inside quotation marks when it follows the end of the quoted portion.

Technically, the period and comma are supposed to be placed inside. If a question mark or exclamation point are not part of the quote they are supposed to be placed outside the quotation marks.

But I agree, sometimes it is confusing or misleading to place the period or comma inside.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2015 5:10 p.m. PST

The Word Bleeds For John The OFM!!!!!

Last Hussar16 Mar 2015 11:43 a.m. PST

The end of sentence full stop/Question mark/etc varies between the US and Britain.

In the US it goes inside, even if it doesn't belong with the original. In the UK it stays with the quote if it belongs with the quote, but otherwise outside to finish the sentence containing the quote.

There is a difference between
He said "Have you got it?"
He said "Have you got it"?

In the former we are quoting a question, in the latter the line itself is a question.

To answer another query:
The use of the quotes from the OP idea is that they usually indicate the speaker/writer is aware the word is not the descriptive one, hence the mood dissonance when used incorrectly (like 'dog').

Seabrookes potato crisps are marketed as 'more' than a 'snack'. I wonder what they think they are?

jpattern2 Inactive Member17 Mar 2015 5:03 p.m. PST

In the US it goes inside, even if it doesn't belong with the original.
Not true at all, even in the US.

Periods and commas go inside the quotation marks. (Double in the US, single in the UK.) That's true even for single words: He's got "it."

Among professional writers and journalists, all other punctuation goes outside the quotation marks, unless they're part of something being quoted.

Not that you won't see a hell of a lot of mistakes being made, even among (some) journalists.

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