Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Diabetic Friendly"

I guess it's not really THAT friendly. Thanks Micah.


Jim Daniels said...

Many of these quotation mark "offenders" have the same theme--that of some third party calling out the quoted phrase on behalf of the advertiser.

The advertiser wants us to picture a third party "speaking" these words on behalf of the advertiser as a testimonial. For something that is spoken, the quotation marks are appropriate.

I suggest applying this "Third-party testimonial rule" to quotation marks before deciding they are inappropriate.

I am not aware of any official reference to this "Third-party testimonial rule", though I would not be surprised to find some more accepted authoritative source that has written about it.

Source: Me. Totally unofficial. Based on colloquial usage patterns.

I am aware I may be deemed an offender myself for using quotation marks for the following other instances:

1. The "so called" rule: to denote phrases or ideas that others advocate using in certain situations, and to use quotation marks to set off ideas that are based on remarks or ideas attributed to parties other than the current speaker.

2. The "putting it out there" corollary to the so-called rule: Using quotation marks to set off an idea that the current speaker is proposing be referred to by a specific name or phrase.

Now, the other thing I struggled with was whether "third-party" should have a hyphen, and if so, should the whole phrase be hyphenated, e.g., "third-party-testimonial". It was clear that "testimonial-rule" should not be included in any hyphenation. I finally decided just one hyphen would do.

bethany said...

Jim, I see where you're coming from, and that's part of the reason I called the blog "unnecessary quotation marks" rather than "incorrect quotation marks." Any kind of usage or punctuation is going to lead to potential ambiguity, and this ambiguity is sometimes funny. Though I'd say in many of the cases you might call "third party testimonial" the idea of a random person popping up to shout "delicious" or whatever is almost as ridiculous as the interpretations I typically posit...