Kent pointed me to the Gallery of ''Misused'' Quotation Marks which has the same purpose as this site, but more traffic and more examples. In spite of the competition, I shall continue to add to this site when the opportunity arises.
I am in the process of grading ~50 midterm examinations from my Public Speaking class. I have encountered several instances of misplaced quotation marks (as well as other writing errors and general incoherencies) and avoided the impulse to mark off points for such things. But I did appreciate the student who said the speaker in the sample speech might change the "wording" if she were speaking to Congress.
That's not exactly what was on the menu, but you get the point. What that says to me is "By 'new', we mean it's been sitting in the freezer for about 2 years and the health department says we need to get it out of there."
Thanks to Danielle Sundberg who sent me this fantastic photo all the way from Istanbul Turkey. It really brings unneccesary quotation marks to a whole 'nother level. She says she found it "on a bench of sorts". I don't even know what it means! awesome.
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By submitting to the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks, you grant Bethany Keeley the non-exclusive right to publish your photo on the blog or in any other publication, commercial or otherwise, without compensation. Unless you explicitly state otherwise, your submission implies that the photo is yours, and that you are qualified to give this permission. You take responsibility for any laws broken in the act of taking the submitted photograph or publishing it. Bethany Keeley and the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks is not responsible for any payment or liability.
clarification added April 26, 2010: This means that by submitting a photo, you grant me, Bethany, permission to publish the photo here on the "Blog" and anywhere else, even (and especially) if it means I will profit from it. You also retain the same rights to republish your own photos wherever you want.
Not that anything will ever be as fun as listening for others in my vicinity to drop "a whole nother," but my favorite weird language thing is the appearance of innapropriate quotation marks in printed material. Although, actually, sometimes people accomplish innapropriate quotation marks verbally as well, through the use of "quoty fingers" - another amusing phenomena.
So, what I'm interested in here is quotation marks that appear for no reason. These often work to obscure the intended meaning to comic effect, at least if you're a punctuation nerd. Not that i know anyone like that.
The most recent example I have is from the Hope Summer Repatory Theatre program in one actor's bio. Something like you may remember his "hips" from last year's production of Bye Bye Birdie. So... were they not real hips? (maybe they were so not real)
Feel free to uncover and report your own examples in comments.