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Val123's avatar

Actual quoting aside, do you use quotation marks to indicate emphasis, or to indicate fatuousness?

Asked by Val123 (12679points) February 23rd, 2010

This is something that has always bugged me a little. For example, when I see a sign for “fresh” tomatoes, I read it as though just the opposite is true. Kind of like they’re being tongue-in-cheek. However, what what they actually mean is to convey is that the tomatoes are indeed “fresh.”

It’s no biggie, but it always throws me off! If they want to emphasize, why don’t they just cap it, or underline it or something? Why the quotes?

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45 Answers

ucme's avatar

“Great” Question.

mrentropy's avatar

@Val123 I agree with you.

Once I saw, on the back of a truck, this:
“Great service is our motto” and it was in quotes. So I read it as “Great service is our motto” is our motto.

joehobbes's avatar

I don’t I’ve ever used quotes for emphasis…

CMaz's avatar

“Both”

janbb's avatar

I’m with you too; I see it as a sign of being insincere when what is actually often intended is emphasis. I find it funny.

Seek's avatar

I use it as a way of indirectly saying “So-Called”.

For example: Military “Intelligence”

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It’s fine in text but please don’t make the “quotes” sign with your fingers when talking to someone.

CMaz's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy – Too late. <——- And then I quoted with my fingers.

stump's avatar

Quotes should only be used to quote someone. When someone uses quotes to denote fatuousness, what they are really doing is questioning the sincerity or intelegence of someone who originally said that. Italics, underlining, or bold print should be used for emphasis. They are quotation marks, for crying out loud. Don’t use them unless you are quoting someone.

jaytkay's avatar

I love it when people use quotes for emphasis.

It’s a great time saver, because it means, “Stop reading. The writer is not worth your attention.”

Inappropriate Capital Letters are useful in the same way.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I don’t use it for emphasis; it’s not a very British way of doing it actually – I’ve only seen it used by Americans.

I far prefer italics, but will occasionally use bold if I really need to make a point strongly in online discourse.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Dammit, I can’t find that old Chevy Chase Spy cover where he does the air quotes for “Isn’t It ‘Ironic’?”

susanc's avatar

…. or to “be” fatuousness.

CMaz's avatar

… or “to be” fatuousness.

janbb's avatar

To “be” or not “to be” – is that the question?

CMaz's avatar

is that the “question”?

Using this example. Does the end quote come before or after the punctuation?

janbb's avatar

In your example, I would put the end quote where you did since there is only one word in quotation marks. Usually in the States at least, the punctuation mark is within the end quotation mark, but I will vary it at times for clarity.

Seek's avatar

If the punctuation is part of the quote, before
. If it’s part of your sentence, and not necessary for the quote, than after.

Example:

She asked me, “What’s for dinner?”

I’m looking for the so-called “Stargate”.

mattbrowne's avatar

Our brains love novelty. The quote fad will be replaced by something else.

janbb's avatar

“Something else?”

Val123's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You said, I use it as a way of indirectly saying “So-Called”.….EXACTLY!

I can’t tell you how glad I am that there are so many who feel the same way! Yes, when I read something where quotes are used to emphasize, it immediately lowers my opinion of whatever the thang is.

@mrentropy “Great service is our motto” and it was in quotes. So I read it as “Great service is our motto” is our motto. True that!!

stump's avatar

“True that!!”?????

Seek's avatar

I love the expression “True dat”. It’s one of the few slang terms I use in informal speech. ^_^

Val123's avatar

@stump In this case I assume you’re asking for clarification. OK. I agree totally with @mrentropy. If I saw “Great service is our motto” and it was in quotes, I too would read it as “Great service is our motto” is our motto. AND I prolly wouldn’t call them!

Rarebear's avatar

Who are you calling fat?

Val123's avatar

@Rarebear You! Look at that gut in your avatar!

Rarebear's avatar

damn. You win this round.

Rarebear's avatar

@MacBean I agree, it shows immaturity.

Seek's avatar

I can understand a desire to show emphasis when writing in a forum setting. I tend to fall back on the use of asterisks in most forums. This one gives an added bonus of turning my asterisks to bold.

Val123's avatar

@Rarebear And lack of communication skills….and thanks @MacBean that’s a perfect example of what I was referring to. Perfect. PERFECT I say! (Wasn’t there one for underline, too?)

Seek's avatar

No, but there is for strikthru strikethrough
whew

Val123's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I could have sworn I discovered an underline once…. Hmm

Seek's avatar

does +this+ work?

Seek's avatar

Guess not. Oh, well.

Val123's avatar

>Hmmmmm< $Hmmmmm$ ^ Hmmmmm^

LOL! That reminds me! My daughter and I picked up her four-year old from school. We ran some errands, and he was happily humming away to himself in the back seat pretty much the whole time. Usually he’s talking non-stop, but today he was just humming. I asked my daughter what was up with that? Her son, Aden, said, “Miss Garvy says that humming is not allowed in the classroom! We can only hum outside!” and went back to humming! I looked at my daughter. She said at the PT conference they just had, Aden hums to himself when he works. :)

Sarcasm's avatar

There is no underline, but there is this. Way cooler, if you ask me.
Nobody did, though.

Val123's avatar

@Sarcasm I forget how to do that….

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Val23 -

Use the “at” sign on each side of your sentence.

Val123's avatar

That’s right!

mattbrowne's avatar

@janbb – SomethinG elsE tO geT people’S attentioN. HarD TO predicT whaT it’lL bE.

augustlan's avatar

Sometimes I use the single quotation marks, not really for emphasis (I use italics or bold for that), but to indicate a ‘buzzword’ or something. << see what I did there?

Val123's avatar

yes i see what you did there! ^^^

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