Saturday, August 28, 2010

Is that supposed to be in "quotes" or not?

 I don't know if you've ever checked out The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks, but if you "love" to read "quirky" views of punctuation and the way "people" use it, it's a fun little blog to visit periodically.  It's the kind of blog that Jeff Anderson, Robin Pulver, and Lynne Truss might "frequent" for fodder.  The pictures always make me "laugh" and "wonder" about the way "ordinary" people use punctuation in "interesting" and "strange" ways... particularly the "use" of quotation marks.  Which, if you are a 4th grade teacher, you "know" young writers "try out" in the "strangest" of ways!
     The blog's author, Bethany Keeley, has put together a "collection" in her book Fresh Brown "Eggs" based on her blog and the "unnecessary" quotation marks she has discovered in text, in pictures, on signs... everywhere!  This book is a sarcastic look at the misuse of quotation marks at their best (or worst).  We've all seen them... and I have to admit, I use "them" a lot.  When I read my own writing, I tend to overuse both the "ellipse" and quotation marks... but, "what can I say" I had Mrs. A------- and Mr. S---- as my high school language arts teachers and, well, let's just say I didn't "learn much" during my "formidable" punctuation years.  Thank goodness I have folks like Katie Wood Ray, Ralph Fletcher, and Jeff Anderson as my "mentors" today... although, I'm still not sure I'd be considered "proficient" at punctuation in a "general" sense.
     This is one of those books that would make a "perfect" gift for the grammarian in your life!  It's humorous and made me laugh!  Check it out... and then start taking a closer look at marquees, menus, and the "multitude" of places that you can find punctuation, particularly quotations marks, used (air quote) inappropriately!

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