Properly Punctuated: The Silent Comedian, or When Quotes = Sarcasm

Posted September 24, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Properly Punctuated, Self-Editing, Writing

Oh man, this so cracks me up!! Please, everybody, do spread the word — quotes are used to indicate that something is ironic, sarcastic, or slang. They are not used to emphasize. Unless of course you are trying to emphasize the sarcasm!

Yep, I’m on a “diet”.
No, honey, those pants “don’t” make your butt look big.
Yeah, you’re good for “something” all right.
My pit bull is named “Mercy”.
George is “excited” about going shopping with you.
No, he’s “teasing” Willy.
That’s “beautiful”.
Oh, no, “of course” they didn’t do it.
No, please, I really “want to watch” World Wrestling Federation with you.
The politicians are trying to “save face” now that they got caught.

Properly Punctuated is…

…the proper use of quotation marks, commas, semicolons, colons, ellipsis, etc., including how to properly mark dialog, ahem. As Properly Punctuated is in no way complete, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…

If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page — and consider sharing this Properly Punctuated tidbit with friends by tweeting it.


White sign advertising cheese burgers

My first reaction when I see the “‘Cheese’ Burgers” sign is to wonder just what they are putting on them burgers. Can’t be cheese if they’re putting quotes around it…eeeek.

The “‘Cheese’ Burgers” is courtesy of The Chive.

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A brick wall with the words beware of dog painted on

Then there’s the “Beware of ‘Dog'” sign. Hmmm, maybe it’s a cat?

No, wait, it is a dog, but the dog is sooo ugly that no one will believe it’s a dog. Wait, wait, no, it’s a…

The “Beware of ‘Dog'” is courtesy of The Chive.


Red background with white lettering says Employee must wash hands

Okay, this sign is a double whammy. They need to put up a sign for the ONE employee. And just why are there quotes around “wash hands”? Does he have paws? No, wait…I know what it is. The employee must wash hands, but those hands don’t have to be their own hands.

Or, maybe this sign is simply to fulfill health code requirements and it’s one of those nudge-nudge-wink-winks and they don’t care if the employee doesn’t wash his/her hands?? Ick…

The “Employee must ‘wash hands'” is courtesy of The Chive.

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Sign offering professional massages

Hey guys, this sign’s for you! Oh, yeah, uh-huh, you can get a…”massage”…

The “massage” sign is courtesy of The Chive.


“Eggs”, huh? “Brown” eggs. Maybe they live next door to the “dog”…

This image is courtesy of Wantist.

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