Monday, June 29, 2009

weekly writing coach: lose the quotes

If you need to raise your hands and make a quotation-mark sign when you use a phrase, I can't help you there...but you should avoid it in writing. For inspiration, check out this blog about unnecessary quotes, with hilarious photos of real-life examples (some on bronze plaques) where quotation marks have no business. Not a complete catalog, by any means, but a nice reminder when you're tempted. While many of these examples suggest that people think quotation marks add a special emphasis, they do the opposite for most of us, making the phrase seem dubious or ill-chosen, or in need of definition because it's so obscure. Scour your work before submission to be sure you're not adding such an emphasis inadvertently.

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