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.