Saturday, September 22, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments lately that I can’t respond to individually. Here are some general responses:
This is your pet peeve. You should also blog about mine, which is _____.

Actually, I don’t consider quotation marks a peeve. I just think it’s funny to misinterpret them, almost always. This is not the case with most other grammatical errors, although the occasional dangling modifier is pretty amusing. Somebody else can blog about your thing if they want; I really think the genius here is the specificity. Check out my sidebar though; some of those people might already blog about your thing. Especially you legion of apostrophe pedants.

How can you make fun of other people when you made the following grammatical error ____?

I am not a grammar expert. Sure, I am living in a glass house intentionally obfuscating other people’s usage, and therefore usually correct errors that other people point out. The point of this site, though, is not to demonstrate my grammatical superiority, it’s to have a little fun with language.
This blog is a waste of time. I can’t believe someone wrote an article about it.
I can't believe people are interested in it either, I'm just doing this for fun. Related question: is a person who takes the time to criticize bloggers they don't know in a position to tell me how my time should be used?

Those quotation marks are totally acceptable, stop being so mean.

Remember what I said about intentional obfuscation? I’m just trying to have fun. If you don’t think this is fun, it’s probably not the blog for you.

What do you think about this grammatical issue: ____?

I'll do my best to respond to your specific question, but maybe you should ask grammar girl or look it up in a style manual of your choice. My expertise is in rhetorical theory and criticism, which is only somewhat related to grammar.

Why are quotation marks such a big deal to you anyway?


They really aren't. I'm actually not a grammar fanatic at all, although clear writing is important to me. I started this blog for fun never expecting anybody to notice it except my family and friends. Other things that are more important to me than punctuation include, but are not limited to: my family, my job, my faith, politics, some television shows.

For Linguistics Nerds Only: Don't you know about language change? Why be such a prescriptivist? Alternate: Thanks for fighting for pure English against the uneducated masses!
My real intellectual position is more of a descriptivist. I understand that language is constructed socially and therefore naturally evolves and changes and is not subject to absolutes. I conceive this blog as a kind of language play a la Derrida that also demonstrates the limits of such permissiveness, which becomes unclear writing. I'm trying to have fun with language, not protect it or enforce a "right" way to write or speak.

What is the rule for end punctuation and quotation marks? Aren't you doing it wrong?It is standard in the US to put all end punctuation (periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points) inside quotation marks. My Canadian high school English teacher taught me that when the quotation marks are ironic or setting off a word or phrase because you are talking about the word itself, then the punctuation goes outside. I like this rule better, and it seems like a worthwhile distinction to make on this blog. So even though I live in the US, I do it this way: when I am quoting someone else, punctuation inside quotation marks. All other uses, outside. I figure it's fine as long as I'm consistent, but you probably shouldn't follow my example for formal writing.

May I use some of your photos on my blog?

Sure, as long as you give credit and a link for where you found them, and limit yourself to no more than 3 or 4. I want your readers to visit my site to see more!

Is it ok if I link to your blog?

It's more than ok! I really appreciate it when people like my blog enough to recommend it to their friends and readers.

How about a link exchange?
sorry, I don't do those. I believe that links should be genuine recommendations to one's readers, so I'll add things to my own sidebar at my discretion, but not as a quid pro quo. Also, if I linked back to all the links I get, it would be pretty overwhelming.


This blog is "great!" You "are" so "funny!"

Yeah, nobody's ever said that before. Good one.

I sent you something weeks ago, why haven't you used it?

Sorry, I am about 5 months behind on just filtering my emails. I post ones I think are funny in the moment, it's a little arbitrary. I have a demanding full-time job as a college professor and also a life, so I can't put that much time and brainspace into quotation marks. I will email you back, though, if/when yours gets posted.

How come you posted this picture and not the similar one I sent you?

It's possible that the one I posted actually came in before yours (like I said, I'm months behind) or when I looked at yours I couldn't think of anything funny to say about it, or thought it was too hard to see. I get a lot of emails, so I tend to click through until I find something I like and rarely go back. Sometimes a picture isn't very funny but the email that goes with it saves it. Sorry it's not more fair.

While I'm at it, here are some questions no one has asked, but might some day:

What are your guidelines for comments?
I'm so glad you asked. Here are some guidelines:
1) spam will be deleted as soon as I notice it. Trolling will be deleted at my discretion.
2) I know I have to put up with people correcting my spelling/grammar, but I appreciate it if you do it nicely. I also get a little testy when people do this anonymously, because it does not allow us to see any of their perfect or imperfect prose.
3) please keep the tone light and friendly, if we aren't having fun, why bother with the "blog" at all? (It goes without saying that violent or sexually explicit language is rarely called for, and I am pleased to see that thus far I haven't had occasion to say so.)

Do you have a policy about responding to email?
I do now. I used to try to respond to everyone, but it's been getting a little overwhelming. So I'm cutting back. I'll still email submitters when I post their thing, but I will no longer email people to explain why theirs didn't get posted. I will respond to other "personal" emails at my discretion. This means, if I feel like it. I'd like to respond to everyone personally, and I appreciate you taking the time to email me. I am trying to resist letting this blog take over my life.

108 comments:

nixwilliams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nixwilliams said...

heya, i don't comment that regularly, but i just wanted to say i really like the blog, i pimp it to everyone, and i think you're doing a great job.

~dogandmusiclover~ said...

I absolutely love your blog, and I laugh every time I read it. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

What they "said."

bigshoulders said...

I've recently "stumbled" on your blog, and have really enjoyed it. Also, because I'm "lazy", I linked to it, so I wouldn't forget how to get here. :)

cheers,
b.s.

Warmbeachjo said...

Love the blog. My thing is looking for apostrophe abuse. I'm sure you've noticed this trend too. Many Americans think that every s needs an apostrophe which can create some funny results. Thanks

Warmbeachjo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Here here!

And well put

golfwidow said...

I used to work in a very old (since closed) family-run pharmacy, where the pharmacist used quotations to encircle the date at the top of the new page of the refills ledger (this was not pre-computerization, but this store was not computerized).

When I asked him why he did this, he explained that he had been trained to do so from the beginning of his career, where a double-underline was traditional for emphasizing the header of a ledger page, but would often bleed into the next line (particularly when using fountain pens). It was crucial to not have anything blurring the refill information for fear of accidentally poisoning a patient.

Bean-Me said...

Maybe you should tell the news people it wasn't a pet peeve (sp?).

Marty: said...

This is a "funny" blog! I am obsessed with commas and semicolons, and until I read your posts, I didn't know there were others like me. I'm an editor. I've realized that most writers don't understand that some people read things just for the punctuation!

Kai said...

Thank you for your lovely site.

I wish I could submit a photo of my father-in-law's air quotes. He has an impressive overabundance of air quotishness that renders probably twenty percent of his unflaggingly earnest talk, hilariously ironic. I have permanent scars on my tongue now from biting it so as not to laugh. He wouldn't get the joke. He's a pinch sensitive.

Roundhead said...

hello Bethany -

thanks for this blog

"unnecessary" "quotation" "marks" "drive" "me" "insane" "too..."

(oh and don't even get me started on those up-in-the-air quotes...)

thanks
Roundhead

Laura K said...

I will be quoting the segment for Linguistic Nerds (or which I am one) the next time someone asks why I care that they used "less" where they should have used "fewer".

Laura K said...

Darn it. I should proofread. That should have read "of", not "or". :-)

Alexandra said...

How's this for Linguistics Nerd ... my final year of University I wrote my final essay for German language class on the misuse of the apostrophe in the German language .... in German!

Good Grief, no wonder I couldn't get a date!

Neal Deesit said...

"I conceive this blog as a kind of language play a la Derrida that also demonstrates the limits of such permissiveness, which becomes unclear writing."

Maybe this passage will appear in someone else's "Subjects That Does Not Agree With Their Verbs" blog.

bethany said...

how do you know that I don't mean to say permissiveness becomes? You can't even accuse me of dangling modifier, because of the agreement issue.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Thanks "for" going after the evil quotations marks people

Kayo Kid said...

Your FAQ deftly illustrates some people's "sense of humor." I'm an editor and think your blog is a scream. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

A craigslist listing:

Hudson Valley's "best kept secret"

If you are looking for a "Hindu" massage, you came to the "right" place. Inexpensive and "24 hour service" for those in "need" of a "time-sensative" massage. Within walking distance to coin operated pay-phone for "cab" service. We're just off 9W in "beautiful" Milton. Plenty of "free parking"

Location: "Milton"


http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/ths/437971155.html

David Derrick said...

Should you really have the period at the end of "Making fun of bad punctuation since 2005."?

Anonymous said...

Excellent work there!

Just a small note: another peeve of mine is the misuse of the double prime character (Unicode 0022), used for example to represent inches "like this", instead of left and right double quotation marks (Unicode 201C and 201D) properly for quotes, “like so”. Your word processor may fix it automatically for you, but I don't think Blogger does, so be careful!

Beerzie Boy said...

Loads of fun.

Why don't you post about people using effect/affect wrong, too?

Just kidding.

Deborah Graff said...

"Brilliant." Another reason to keep my digital camera "at the ready."

Camilla said...

Bethany, I think I love you! If I wasn't a straight and married woman living on the other side of the Atlantic (Sweden) I would ask for your hand in marriage! :D Keep blogging please...

Matt said...

Just quirky enough that I can be surprised to find a blog about it, but universal enough to attract dozens of examples.
On top of that, you're not pedantic about grammar. "Wonderful" stuff.

ALD said...

This blog is hilarious. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I think "your" blog is wonderful, and I "am" super glad that it was "pointed" out to me!

"Keep up" the great "work!"

(BTW - "unnecessary" quotation marks are "contagious" so "be" careful!!)

McKay said...

YOu should really see the business English usage here in India. I fight with my boss daily about his desire to put quotations around just about any word of significance. I'll try to find some pics to post to you as it really has to be seen to be believed.

Jane Holland said...

Thanks for this amusing site. My crazy old mother-in-law "insists" on using quotation "marks" and wholly UNNECESSARY and bewilderingly inappropriate capital LETTERS in her birthday/Christmas cards and "notes".

As a writer and poet, it drives me round the bend. But it's funny too. Besides, if she didn't DO that, apparently unaware of HER own craziness, I wouldn't have so MUCH fun when her inappropriately punctuated cards "arrive".

C-MaMa said...

Can someone tell me what "trolling" is?

bethany said...

here's a relevant wikipedia page.

In short, trolling is intentionally obnoxious behavior meant to annoy me or others.

C-MaMa said...

Ohhhh, ok, thanks.

Beto said...

I think you should have somewhere in your blog "e-mail subscriptions"... Seriously! jajajaja

Try FeedBurner!

joannmski said...

I love your blog! Just wrote an entry highlighting it.

Plankster said...

This "is" great! "My" friend and I spent an entire week "inserting" unnecessary quotation "marks" into things "that" our teacher/classmates/parents said. It's "so" much fun.

libraryliz said...

I love this blog, it is near and dear to my own source of hilarity: capitalizing random Nouns.

bethany said...

Oh, Liz. I am the biggest Culprit of that ever. Just ask anyone who has proofread my writing.

Scott said...

This blog is simply delicious!

achilles3 said...

Just checked this out...how inventive! I love it. And your FAQ section is a total gem:-) Keep havin fun friend!

La Gringa said...

I just discovered your blog, but I love, love, love your FAQ. I'm going to have to do something similar (totally unrelated blog). Why is that some people think because they happened upon your blog that they own you?

DKF said...

I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and have sent the link to about 20 or so people I know have the sense of humor and capacity to understand why it is so f-ing hilarious. Just wanted to say good work!

Max Flight said...

I just want to say how happy I am to discover that I'm not the only one who is driven crazy by misguided morons who, for some reason, feel compelled to put quotes around words that should have none.

trixietrudy said...

I am an "editor." An "editor" friend sent me the link to your blog. I have sent it on to other "editor" friends. Only "editors" get why unnecessary quotation marks are funny. But the funniest thing on this blog is the people who don't get it.

pamela said...

I recently stumbled upon your blog and I love it! I, too, have a quotation mark story. I had a professor of music in college who used to post weekly band rehearsal schedules on the bulletin board. In them he would include what we would be working on in rehearsal, as well as comments about recent rehearsals. He was quotation mark happy! I wish I had taken a picture or made copies of his schedules. Here is an example: French Horns: "Great" job yesterday! (guess we didn't do so well after all) Clarinets: Please "practice" measures 16-32 (must not have been a very important section). He was also very fond of air quotes.

Michael Koplow said...

I just discovered your blog (a commenter on a blog at the New Republic's Web site recommended it). http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/10/the-wall-street-journal-goes-crazy-with-quotation-marks.aspx

One mistake in your FAQs, though. "It is standard in the US to put all end punctuation (periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points) inside quotation marks." Not necessarily.

The personage said "Jeepers!"
The personage said "Jeepers"!

These are both correct, but they don't mean the same thing. Me personally, speaking only for my own self, I like to write things like

The personage said "Jeepers!"!

machiya said...

I love it. I hate reading it. I cringe, I groan, but what I don't do is come up with creative interpretations of the things. I'm glad others find the humor in what I intentionally don't notice.

Anyone have any idea where/when this now-standard misuse of quotations for emphasis started?

mh

littlecatfeet said...

Just found this blog, and I adore it. Incorrect quotation marks drive me batty.

My all-time favorite instance is the sign for my ex-church, a small, rather insular rural congregation whose sign said, "Visitors Welcome." Well, not really. Unless by welcome you mean looked at in a strange and hostile manner.

This is followed closely by a Duke poster that read, "Free Beer" and, at the bottom, in timy print, said, "If by free beer you mean a Duke Chorale concert, then, yes, there will be free beer."

This site is quickly expanding that list of "favorites." Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog...it is so funny and gave me a great idea at work! Recently, a scandal has developed in Myrtle Beach, SC. (I suppose I should really write "scandal" because in this little town, the scandal level can be dangerously comical.) Apparently, many restaurants have been serving non-grouper as actual real live grouper!!! Good lawd! Can you imagine! So...many restaurants and the restaurant I work in pulled grouper related items. At our place, the Grouper Bites and Grouper Sandwich were nixed. By the way, both of which--bogus or no--are fabulous. I suggested that we give each member of the staff a black Sharpie marker and affix quotation marks around any offending items on the menu. Thus "Grouper" Bites and "Grouper" Sandwiches are non-offensive, ambiguous, and delicious! Thanks Again! XXOO LMc PS Upper management did not find my suggestion useful OR funny. Go figger.

Pam said...

i just discovered your blog. it's been a while since i've come across anything on the Web that made me laugh out loud so much. so THANK YOU and keep up the good work!

eilbeback said...

I'm hoooooome! [snuggling up on the sofa with a box of Kleenex handy because I am laughing so hard, I am weeping...] Now, shoot me for the elipses, the brackets and misspelling! Yours truly, another former editor

Tiffany said...

I got sent the link to your site cuz I have a bad habit of using air quotes when I shouldn't, even though I find wrongly applied quotes as funny as you do.

I nearly stopped breathing laughing at some of this stuff. So good.

Sarah said...

Awesome blog! I have a new, "heightened" awareness of quotation marks now!

Lola said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! My friends and I actually had this insider joke thing where we would use "Quotation Marks" for everything! Quotation Marks + Puns=HILARIOUS!!!! I am WOWED right now, this blog is so perfect for my friends and I:)

Seebs said...

My own theory:

People often use scare quotes for irony. All it takes is one person thinking that scare quotes are emphasis, rather than irony, to get the ball rolling.

jennconspiracy said...

I've got one for you - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennconspiracy/2315221595/

jennconspiracy said...

Three more more, these both courtesy of the Austin Sheriff's Dept at the State Mental Hospital where my friend works:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennconspiracy/50073189/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennconspiracy/50073254/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennconspiracy/50073261/

Ryan said...

All I can say is "thank you" for this blog -- unnecessary quotes are my biggest "pet" peeve and seriously make me squirm around in my chair at work. I'm sending this to everyone I work with (actually "everyone" because there's a couple who don't need it) with the directions that if they aren't laughing when they read it, then the had better be paying close attention and learning instead!

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could do a question and answer in the FAQ on WHY do people use quotes gratuitously ? I've noticed at least 3 general themes.

1) to emphasize. Using quotes to highlight part of a statement. e.g. "Do Not" park here.

2) to show the quoted word is not to be taken literally. e.g. We sell "Indian" arrowheads.

3) to show thoughts or spoken word concepts. e.g. "Thank you" for giving blood.

jennconspiracy said...

here's another perpetrator -
http://swingingdaddydick.com/

chef_the_city said...

OK, I don't consider quotations of any kind a peeve, nor do I think you should blog about anything other than whatever the heck you feel like, but I do have one question: what about live quotation marks? I have noticed that individuals or characters on television misuse the two-fingers-next-to-head quotation marks all the time. Have you ever considered adding some video clips to your jpegs?

nicky longlunch said...

couldn't find yr email:

http://ffffound.com/image/018a7190ab6f3fa9353986e1b671f1078f628f78

indya42 said...

What a spectacular blog! I found the link for it at another blog and plan to link it on mine. Great work! Thanks.

kavita said...

i love your blog. thanks for it.

what i love most is that your commentary leans toward observational rather than critical. wonderment, rather than fault-finding.

i've been a noticer of oddities grammar-related since i was a kid, and i used to love making fun of the authors of this kind of stuff.

forty-plus years later, i can easily glean what the author is trying to say. might need a few minutes of consideration, but i can usually find it. they say it in a way i find really funny when viewed through the lens of 'correct' grammar, and, who can't use a good laugh every day?! so now i say, thank heavens for the authors.

thanks again for the hilarious sightings.

Anonymous said...

I "love" this site. I just want to point out that on the "lowercase L" blog, there is an image of a tombstone. Not only does it have a lowercase "L", but it ALSO has "unnecessary" quotation marks; a true gem. 'he died in service to his "country"'.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to send an image of it, but today's aol home page has this:

How to Make
'Good' Pasta

4you-blue-jway said...

I just discovered this blog & think it's pretty cool. I don't know if you include stuff like this, but this was my birthday cake last year.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n274/artist_gurl1118/DSC00983.jpg

Or at least I thought it was mine. lol. =)

Anonymous said...

Heh. I just linked to your blog from the mention on Salon.com and am now flooded with irritating memories of my ex-mother-in-law, a very stupid and very effusive woman, who used quotation marks for emphasis any chance she could get, down to signing birthday cards with "love" and "hugs."

Thanks a bunch. :)

thnidu said...

An LJ friend just pointed me to this blog, correctly thinking I'd get a kick out of it. Of course, my reply was
"Thanks!"
(with quotation marks).

You may also enjoy Editors' Waltz, especially verse 2.

Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoëpist, and Philological Busybody

Coveredwithjoy said...

Haha! I have been wondering lately if I have been overusing punctuation.

Great site.

Anonymous said...

I know you said you don't care, generally, about grammar, but I just wanted to say that the rule you list in your FAQ about proper positioning of quotation marks relative to other punctuation is incorrect. Question marks go inside quotation marks only if the quoted sentence is itself a question. So the following is correct: What do you think of the word "booger"?

Mary said...

This blog is fantastic! I was so surprised to read these FAQ that seem to be fending off lots of mean comments. Who could hate such a brilliant place online? I'm always finding myself laughing at misplaced quotation marks and the idea of having a blog devoted to sharing them is very amusing. Keep up the great work!

Lord Balto said...

This has annoyed me for years! I finally figured out that some folks think quotation marks are a way of adding emphasis, like italics. In fact, in newspapers, where it was impossible to use italics, they would use quotation marks for referencing titles and the like. So the confusion is understandable, at least in folks who never read anything but newspapers.

elaine said...

Your blog just totally made my day! :D I occasionally proofread, and I take these suckers out by the handful every time. Hahaha!

Katy said...

Your blog is fabulous! I always knew there were other people out there who got a kick out of excessive quotes. Thanks, and, as they occasionally say on place mats at diners, "Have a Nice Day!" (Who said that??)

Erika said...

This has been bothering me for years! I'm definitely a spelling and grammar freak so I love all the extraneous uses of quotation marks. I wish I had some pictures of the signs my friend's Chinese mother used to leave around the house when her parents went on vacation. EVERYTHING was unnecessary quotation marks. I do remember one: "DO NOT" set toaster to "ROAST" it will "OVERHEAT" and "CATCH FIRE." No joke.

theKirkness said...

This must not be asked "frequently" but how can I send you a funny sign I found with "" in it?

Von said...

I just found my new "bookmark!" Seriously, this subject has been "on my mind" for so long... No longer are people "off the hook" throwing decorative quotation marks all over perfectly naked phrases that never wanted to be sheathed in a cloak of "suspicion." Though I mostly ignore the laws of grammar, the abundance of unnecessary quotes just has a way of, uhhh, "cracking me up." Thanks! This gives me the happy feelings. ;D

Hayley said...

Clever. Was having a "bad day" at work so my colleague sent me a link to your site. Most definitely bought a smile to my face.

cholette said...

Awesome blog! DH and I are constantly pointing out usage of unnecessary quotation marks to each other, but you had plenty of hilarious, egregious examples that I'd never seen before. Keep them coming!

galtex said...

Love your blog.

Here's one for ya, both in the heading and in one of the menu items:

http://www.improv2.com/addison-menu.shtml

KMB said...

This is my "favorite" blog! It's "completely" amazing and I will be sure to "tell" everyone about it.

Krum said...

Hi, I couldn't find a place to submit examples for you blog. So here it is, from another thematic blog - there seems to be overlap.
http://criggo.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/94/

Rick Darby said...

Uh, like, y'know, your cite is so kewl i just had to do a blog post of my own about it, just on principal.

ultrauber said...

I "agree".

Nancy and Elmer said...

Regarding the 30/9/07 5:27 AM comment of Neal Deesit on the question of subject-verb agreement in the phrase "...the limits of such permissiveness, which becomes unclear writing," another possibility exists in addition to the one Bethany offered.

Even if "such permissiveness" were taken strictly as the object of the preposition "of," and if the relative clause were intended to modify "limits," the singular verb "exists" would still be correct, or at least completely defensible. The question being whether "limits" is singular or plural is not answered by the presence of an S at the end of the word. Number is ultimately a notional concept, and we must examine just how many limits the writer means.

If we were editing this text, we would certainly question the writer to be sure that the text reflected her intended meaning. As readers, we have a solemn duty to our own good humor and the mutual satisfaction of everyone involved to take every period and pixel literally. There is much to be appreciated in the notion that the "limits of such permissiveness" is a singular entity, and we applaud Bethany for the insightfulness and the subtlety of her suggestion, as well as her own excellent good humor and appreciation for the laughter that inevitably arises from steadfast adherence to binary logic in a universe where number is ambiguous at best.

aprilx said...

sounds like a lot of jackasses have been asking you questions.

yay for your blog!

Matt said...

Here's an awesome one on an Indian travel site: http://www.irctc.co.in/images/newbanner/ITZ_Card_Banner.gif

E M said...

It would be a nice addition to the blog if you explained correct and incorrect quotation usage. I for one do not find them funny because the joke is beyond me. It's just a stream of words with a couple of squiggles!

DanKorn said...

What about the unnecessary "www" in your URL?
http://no-www.org/

Chaela said...

I absolutely love this blog! You've done a fantastic job with it.

Motts said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7880070.stm

Italian woman is "dead"

Joe Janes said...

I'm sure you have already seen this...

http://dailybreeze.mycapture.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=22232544&event=689200&CategoryID=29720

Sad and funny.

Sinus said...

You wrote, "It is standard in the US to put all end punctuation (periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points) inside quotation marks".

I cannot help but be amazed by the idiocy of this, actually. As much as any common sense goes, it would be obvious to quote what is quoted - as simple as that. "Now, this sentence is quoted entirely." (Similarly, this is a sentence in parantheses. Even two sentences.) And here's a word that is "special". Or wrapped (tightly). All inline. And yet, the rule would be to stick the poor little punctuation mark inside the quote, but outside the paranthesis. Now someone please tell me, how is this "sane." I mean, any more than (this.)

Who the blazes invented that..?

Znoosle said...

Link to the Pun Gents! - pungents.com! we've linked you. Cheers. Love your work

Count Sneaky said...

Punctuation is an aid to communication. Communication is an aid to Understanding. Understanding is an aid to
Digestion. Digestion is an aid to Good Living. Good Living is an aid to enjoying blogs like The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks Keep up the great stuff! Count Sneaky

Frank 'Wizard' LaLonde said...

I don't know how I found your blog, but this is one of the funnier sites I've run across in a long time. Kudos.

Kirk Petersen said...

Instalaunch!

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/80988/

Years ago the Newark Star-Ledger used to be famous for putting random "words" in quotation "marks" in "their" headlines. Drove me nuts... not sure when the practice stopped.

Coral Press said...

It's great how the answers to the majority of these questions are "I'm just having a little fun, calm down." :P Also, right on for having a linguistically descriptive outlook.

Jenni said...

This blog is great. It never fails to make me giggle. Boo at the people who get testy about it- lighten up! Silly grammar is laughable, especially "quotes" that give new "meaning" to the message.

That Dorn Family! said...

I have to tell you, this is now my favorite website. It is so good for a laugh. "Thanks"

products said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bruno said...

Great blog. It is painfully obvious that "a lot" of people (by which I may even mean "most"), are "barely" (a.k.a. not at all) functionally literate. Now, do not misunderstand me, I am a linguist, and I am aware of how language change and prescriptivism do not go hand in hand. The fact remains that misuse of spelling and writing conventions is an indicator of educational status, for better or for worse. Yes, maybe in "2100" our best writers will use quotation marks that way, but the ones who will have spearheaded the change will be those who knew the least about appropriate written usage. (Things are different when we talk about spoken language, though). Did that sound too "prescriptivist"? Throw in a "couple" of quotation marks!

makingyouhungry said...

Just found your site thanks to a link from Cake Wrecks -- looking forward to the rest of the 24-posts-in-24-hours. I am actually something of a grammar nazi, but I try to not be an ass about it... glad to see you're not offended by polite corrections.
And the reason I chose this post to comment on: Your rationale for choosing Commonwealth rules for quotation punctuation (which I also do) is such a fantastic, concise explanation of why that system does make more sense than the US-style "just throw everything inside" method, I'm bookmarking this page to link people to when they complain about my usage.

JR said...

Great blog and great sidebar links. I thought about creating a blog like yours, but figured I'd never find enough content if I focused on ONE error or mis-usage. Sadly, I see I was mistaken.

Will definitely be adding your link to my blog so my readers can have even more laughs.

Jerry Langton said...

Bethany, I LOVE your blog. Not only because I toiled for years as a copy editor, but because my grandmother always used to sign birthday cards "love" Gramma. But I gotta tell you, when I was reading your book (that my wife bought me for Christmas) and I came upon "Try our 'Soup'," I laughed so hard my kids thought I was having a heart attack.

Erika said...

Good stuff. A friend who knows that I love finding overused quotations marks pointed me to your blog. Great laugh! My best wishes for not letting the blog take over your life. Best of luck with grad school, and things that are actually important. :)
- Erika