tabular_rasa: (Default)
[personal profile] tabular_rasa
Am I crazy that whenever I see quotes around individual words, I assume they are intended in either an ironic or sexual context? Apparently a lot of people put quotes around things to give them emphasis, but then my mind always reads them in a sleazy voice. In my head, a delicious burger and a "delicious" burger are two totally different things.

As another example, I recently saw this contest posting: Whoever guesses the amount of tornado watches issued for the Continental US by 7/31/12 (including those already issued) will win a "special" prize.

I'm sure it's just, like, a poster of a tornado or something, but what ran through my head is the prize must either:
a) involve semen
b) be really unpleasant, like the contest judges will personally see to it that a tornado touches down on my house

(And of course "special" in particular has ableist connotations, like maybe this prize would only appeal to the developmentally disabled).

I don't know why people have to use quotes in these circumstances. Isn't special prize, without the quotes, appealing enough? (Or in my case, more appealing?).

Date: 2012-02-26 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belovedwarrior.livejournal.com
You're definitely correct. People overuse quotes for individual words and use them incorrectly. In grammar, it is supposed to be used when you're referring to the actual word and not using the word in the sentence. For example, she wrote "special poster" on her piece of paper. At least, that's my understanding.

Date: 2012-02-27 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
That's what I always thought, too! There are other ways to emphasize (italics, caps, etc)-- and with the right phrasing and word choice you shouldn't have to format for emphasis anyway.

Date: 2012-02-26 08:51 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen: (Jenny 11)
From: [personal profile] jenny_evergreen
They're called "scare quotes" and you are right and they are wrong and it is good thing I am on my tablet and typing is kind of hard or this would be a long, educational rant!

Date: 2012-02-27 06:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
Haha, well if you're up for ranting I'd be curious to hear what you have to say! But "you are right" is pretty nice to hear, too :-P

Date: 2012-02-27 01:12 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenny_evergreen
*laugh* I'd basically explain all of this, just louder and with more swearing. ;)

And, of course, throw in the whole "sorry state of our educational system" portion, which you already know.

On the apostrophe, there is legitimate reason for "1960's"...technically, it is an abbreviation (as compared to writing out "nineteen sixties"), and the rule (that, apparently, no one actually KNOWS anymore) is that you use an apostrophe when pluralizing an abbreviation in the same sense that you use it to make a contraction; it denotes missing letters. (This is also why it's '60s and not 60s, not that most people actually do that; the apostrophe, of course, standing in for the missing "19".) However, this has fallen out of popularity among even grammarians, largely because of the confusion (how do you tell the difference if you need to show possession?) it has caused, so that NOW 1960s would be considered proper usage in many, if not most, grammatical circles.

Now, as they say, you know. :)

Date: 2012-02-27 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
I knew about (and use) the apostrophe in '60s . . . but does that mean it should be written '60's? Since there's supposed to be one before the s as well? At least back before 1960s without the apostrophe was normalized?

Date: 2012-02-27 07:25 pm (UTC)
jenny_evergreen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenny_evergreen
Technically yes, but I'm pretty sure they wrote an "exception" for that...something along the lines of the front apostrophe being dropped when pluralized. Of course, it's moot now.

Date: 2012-02-27 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] howeverbrief.livejournal.com
Bah haha! That was hilarious. I do think you can emphasize words with quotation marks, but the context matters a lot. I think this is mostly a case of people not really understanding how to use grammar properly, like how a lot of people will add " 's " to pluralize words. Now that you point it out, I'm probably going to imagine something involving semen whenever I see random quoted words as well.

Date: 2012-02-27 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belovedwarrior.livejournal.com
YES to the 's. It happens all the time, particularly to decades such as the 1960's. :P

Date: 2012-02-27 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
I always second-guess myself like crazy when I write decades without an apostrophe because I see it that way so often I wonder if I'm the one getting it wrong!

Date: 2012-03-10 06:33 am (UTC)
matt1993: (i ♥ grapheme→color synesthesia)
From: [personal profile] matt1993
There are some cases when "'s" is supposed to be used to pluralize words, because it looks confusing otherwise - for instance, the plural of the letter "U" is "U's", because "Us" looks like a pronoun. (This applies to all letters just for that reason. And there are only quotes here because I'm referring to the words, etc. themselves.)

I've always thought 1960's was one of these special cases, but I've never been 100% sure...

Date: 2012-02-27 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
Haha, I'm glad I've passed along the internal sleazy voice :-P

Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is. I hear you on the plural 's, along with your/you're and they're/their/there. Some of these are so common they've practically become mainstream grammar -.-

Date: 2012-02-27 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] howeverbrief.livejournal.com
Ugh, yeah. I don't have a lot of grammar pet peeves, mostly for reasons you've already read, but the your/you're and they're/their/there as well as its/it's drive me crazy. Also, I don't like it when people say "literally" when they mean "figuratively." That one has become pretty mainstream and it drives me crazy.
Edited Date: 2012-02-27 06:12 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-02-27 06:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
Yes! The literally thing drives me crazy! While my inner grammar Nazi has been toned down a lot, that's still one I frequently do toss back at people snarkily. "If you literally froze to death, why are you here telling me this?"

Date: 2012-02-27 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gemma-thompson.livejournal.com
I recently watched an online clip (which I cannot find at the moment) about some girl trying to get people to come to her yoga classes. Her fliers she was handing out said something like Come To My "Free" Classes. Everyone was like "uh, how much are they normally?" And she kept looking at them blankly and said "They're usually free!" "Then why are there quotes around the word?" and she couldn't explain it. The sketch went on just like that for a few minutes. lol

Date: 2012-02-27 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tabular-rasa.livejournal.com
Haha, that's a great premise for a sketch!

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