Friday, October 24, 2008
If you can "write" you'll "love" this
I guess we have reached the point where no phenomenon, real or imagined, lacks a blog dedicated to it.
Cats in sinks (I really like that one), clouds (that too), and … get ready … photos of signs with unnecessary quotation marks.
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks is not one I expect to turn to with my first cup of coffee each day, but I sympathize with the blogger. The widespread, sub-literate use of quotation marks for emphasis strikes me like a blow direct from Hades every time I see it. It's especially grating because it often reverses the intended meaning by implying irony — Our fish is "fresh" suggests it's passed its smell-by date.
Having spent their education studying self-esteem and the horrors of racist imperialism — one of which they have an unjustified amount of, and the other they have no worthwhile ideas about — many of today's citizens learn language almost exclusively from hearing it spoken. So they are far at sea in comprehending the difference between to and too, or principal and principle. And they do not know you add emphasis by italics (or if they are hand writing a sign, by letter size or underlining). Instead they reach for the wrong tool, quotation marks.
It gladdens the heart, though, to see how many people have posted photos of this aggravated assault on the English language. Clearly there are still those who care.