I've posted before that unnecessary and misused quotation marks bother me. Seth Godin points out that, unfortunately, it makes you look stupid (no Seth you are not the only one who gets that impression). You are probably not stupid, of course, but because you didn't take the time to appropriately use apostrophes and quotation marks, you appear that way, and people will write you off. Again, it's very unfortunate, but it's how things are.
Anyway, I think this sign takes the cake for quotation-mark-and-apostrophe unnecessariness, in that absolutely none of them should have been used in this sign at all.
I love this! The image is both hilarious and perfect.
I was writing about this very topic two days ago, so finding your post–complete with illustration–was deja vu.
Another groaner for me is writers who write “loose” when they mean “lose.” I see this so often these days I decided to come up with a foolproof way for writers to avoid this: learn to pronounce it correctly in your mind and you’ll never get it wrong again.
— Loose rhymes with caboose (and both have double o’s)
— Lose rhymes with blues (just think about having the blues if you lose your sweetheart)
Chris Harris says
Great blog post; that photo takes the biscuit.
Like the previous commenter, I get annoyed with people who confuse “lose” and “loose” – as well as those who mix up “breath” and “breathe.” I work with technical manuals from an American aircraft manufacturer where the writer is incapable of distinguishing between “ensure” and “insure.”
But what really gets my goat are photographers who write about the new “lense” they’ve just bought. I just want to give them a slap.
Ben Sternke says
Thanks for the hilarious comments. Sticklers unite!
It doesn’t just happen on the web. We bought a Jack Lalanne juicer this weekend and watched the video, which had captions. One of them had ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Unfortunately, after seeing that, it was the only thing I could focus on. You’d think such a big company would have a proofreader!
Tim Brennan says
Stephen Fry talks about this subject in this podcast http://www.stephenfry.com/media/audio/112/series-2-episode-3–language/
I shared the same view as you until I heard the podcast. Now I’m cool about it.
Kim VB says
Ben Sternke says
Sad, yes. White people like grammar. However, I maintain that it is simply a passion for clarity.