25 April 2007

I'm Not Going to Work, but I'm Still an Editor

I find misused quotation marks hilarious. Two signs, as seen in the front window of a local cafe, one on each side of the front door:

Now serving "homemade" caramel custard!
Now serving homemade "caramel custard"!

Heh heh heh.

14 comments:

laura said...

I'm not an "editor" (how'd you like that?) per se, but have done a lot of writing, copyediting, etc. in my career, and this TOPS my list of pet peeves.

Why in the world is it necessary to quote it? Is someone saying it? This is why god created boldface and italics.

Don't even get me going on my other grammatical / punctuation peeves. My goodness.

Amy said...

A friend of mine worked at a newspaper and got a call from a woman who had a monkey that she hired out for children's parties. She wanted an ad that said something like ...

HI, I'M MARCEL! I'M A "LIVE" MONKEY!

My friend tried (unsuccessfully) to explain that the quotation marks actually made Marcel sound pretty sinister.

Arwen said...

I wonder if they are using the quotation marks under the rule that allows quotation marks around words used humorously or ironically... perhaps it's not homemade custard after all!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

You must read Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I think it would be available in the U.S. Anyone who cares about punctuation and grammar (and there seem to be fewer and fewer of us) will love it.

serenity said...

Oh man - TOTALLY a pet peeve of mine - when people use apostrophes for emphasis.

It's right up there with "Muffin's for sale!"

I was also going to suggest "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" but someone's already done that. I loved that book!

Snickollet said...

Arwen, my thought exactly. Is it really custard? Is it actually homemade? With those quote marks, it could be anything!

Anastasia L said...

My favorite sign in our apartment building:

"Please" no smoking.

Like, we don't really mean that polite "please;" we're just throwing it in there.

Julia said...

Seconding the recommendation for Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I laughed so hard I wept, which is saying something for a book about punctuation.

Christine said...

That stuff makes me nuts. My mom asked me to proof an invite for my dad's surprise 60th birthday party, and it said: Come to a "surprise" party for John (also my dad's name). I told her that made it unclear that the party was a surprise, and she said, "Only anal-retentive editors like you would notice something like that." Ay-yi-yi.

Glad to see you're still finding humor in the world. :)

Anonymous said...

Just walked past a real estate office window this morning. A home is advertised as having, among other features, double-pained windows.
Anne

ShabbyDoll said...

Once, when I lived in NYC, I endured a particularly grueling all-nighter to complete a paper in grad school. As I walked home from handing it in, I kept hallucinating little sarcastic quotation marks on every lettered sign.

Not "open" on Sundays.
No "shirt," no "shoes," no "service."
Deliveries "around" back.

This is one reason among many that I do not take drugs.

laura said...

I just saw this t-shirt, and thought of you. Take a peek, and hope it's good for a laugh or two:

http://www.onehorseshy.com/highbrow/bad_grammar_makes_me_sic?p=onehorseshy.89178214

Bonnie Jacobs said...

To teach a class on grammar and punctuation I used a program called "I saw a dollar walking down the street." Don't you just want to ask, "Which way was it going?"

Thanks, Laura, for the t-shirt link. I got a good laugh from that and then used it in a post on my blog:
http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-saw-dollar-walking-down-street.html

Bonnie Jacobs said...

And now I've written a bit more about Eats, Shoots and Leaves and called it a book review. I have, once again, linked my readers here to this post, Snick.

http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2008/05/eats-shoots-and-leaves-by-lynne-truss.html