“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about quotation marks!
The point of all this is that quotation marks stick like cockleburrs in the public mind, especially when they are attached to catchy words. So it is well to count 10 before using. ~Marvin Creager, "You Can't Count on Famous Words," 1949
Your participle’s danglin’
But I don’t want your drama
If you really wanna
Leave out that Oxford comma
Just keep in mind
That be, see, are, you
Are words, not letters...
And listen up when I tell you this
I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis...
~© "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes," Mandatory Fun,
I know the fashion of our time affects disdain of borrowing. But who is rich enough to refuse, or plead honorably for his exclusiveness? Somehow the printer happens to forget his quotation marks, and the credit of originality goes to the writer none the less. ~A. Bronson Alcott, "Quotation," Table-Talk, 1877
Quotes about Air Quotes
Another reason for putting rabbit ears on a word is the growing popularity of skepticism: Those whose illusion is disillusionment revel in the use of the device that expresses disbelief and disavowal with four inverted commas, and trendy critics can even put quotation signs around a spoken word by wiggling two fingers of each hand. ~William Safire, On Language, 1980
"Air quotes" are:
B. Okay if used sparingly
~Jon Winokur, The Big Book of Irony, 2007 [Air quotes are "gestural irony," per Winokur.
Bob and Betty... raise the middle and forefingers of both hands, momentarily forming twitching bunny ears — air quotes, the quintessential contemporary gesture that says, We're not serious... This is the era of the permanent smirk, the knowing chuckle, of jokey ambivalence as a way of life. This is the Irony Epidemic. ~Paul Rudnick & Kurt Andersen, "The Irony Epidemic," in Spy, 1989
Art in the age of air quotes requires a fellow smirker, someone else smart enough to get it. Irony is a group sport. ~Paul Rudnick & Kurt Andersen, "The Irony Epidemic," in Spy, 1989
We make quote fingers. Please, for the love of your knuckles, stop it. If you can't, at least know that you're supposed to say "quote, unquote," not "quote, end quote." (And if you must do this overseas, be aware of the local customs. In Germany, one hand goes up and the other goes down, mimicking the direction of the printed quotation marks they use. In France, they make sideways v's to look like the guillemets they use to open and close quotations.) ~Martha Brockenbrough, "Do You Abuse Quotation Marks?," 2009
Cox jiggled his fingers like quotation marks. ~Norman C. Chastain, After the Game, 2005
Neville had both hands in the air, fingers suspended in air quotes. Air quotes are something I've seen adults do when they're trying to "relate." They use "teen speak," but they always act uncomfortably when they use it because they know damn well their youth is "spent." And maybe they don't like how they spent it, so every time they see a "young person" they get crabby and offended or smarmy and patronizing. ~Simmone Howell, Everything Beautiful, 2008
Not using it right, Joe. ~Ross to Joey, about his incorrect use of air quotes, Friends, "The One Where Emma Cries," 2002, written by Dana Klein Borkow
Newsflash: air quotes are out. ~Mia King, Good Things, 2006
Quotes about “Scare Quotes”
Welcome to my page of quotations about the type of quotation marks named "scare quotes," also known as shudder quotes, sneer quotes, so-called quotes, sarcasm quotes, irony quotes, or written air quotes.
Scare quotes are the visual marker of sarcasm. ~Joseph Harris, Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts, 2006
If you use a colloquialism or a slang word or phrase, simply use it; do not draw attention to it by enclosing it in quotation marks. To do so is to put on airs, as though you were inviting the reader to join you in a select society of those who know better. ~William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, 1959
A forest of scare quotes can quickly become a distraction. ~Simon Mayers, Chesterton's Jews, 2013
The use of quotation marks to say "their word, not mine" is growing... Disdain now has its own punctuation. One reason is that quotation marks are being used more often to call attention to a special meaning: Henry L. Trewhitt of The Baltimore Sun calls these "cop-out quotation marks" — when a writer uses a bit of jargon or a colloquialism and encloses it in quotes to show he really knows better. Another reason for putting rabbit ears on a word is the growing popularity of skepticism: Those whose illusion is disillusionment revel in the use of the device that expresses disbelief and disavowal with four inverted commas, and trendy critics can even put quotation signs around a spoken word by wiggling two fingers of each hand. ~William Safire, On Language, 1980
The use of scare quotes is an evasive way of using a bit of language while at the same time distancing yourself from it, leaving your reader wondering whether you quite stand by what you say. ~Gary Kemp, What Is This Thing Called Philosophy of Language?, 2011
This is yet another way detonation may disrupt the steadiness of person and narrative. The reader must continually make adjustments of discourse type in the midst of parsing difficult sentences, treading the minefield of scare-quotes, italics, parentheses containing quotations we know not from where, paradoxes, and allusions. A minimal implied author requires a maximal implied reader. ~Donald Wesling and Tadeusz Sławek, Literary Voice: The Calling of Jonah, 1995
Quotes about Quotation Marks, Metaphorically Speaking
Welcome to my page of quotes about quotation marks used in ways other than literal punctuation.
We have a queen-size bed and the dog sleeps in the middle. John and I are sort of these little quotation marks on either corner. ~Rachael Ray, in PEOPLE Pets, 2011
It is an old error of man to forget to put quotation marks where he borrows from a woman's brain! ~Anna Garlin Spencer, Woman's Share in Social Culture, 1912
Oh, Cedilla! I hyphenventilate as I kiss ur ellipsis! I crave your caron & long to be bracketed by ur guillemets #nationalpunctuationday.com ~Eric Jones, @dericjones, tweet, 2010
It would not be sufficient to say that in his love-making with Ada he discovered the pang, the ogon’, the agony of supreme "reality." Reality, better say, lost the quotes it wore like claws — in a world where independent and original minds must cling to things or pull things apart in order to ward off madness or death (which is the master madness). ~Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), Ada, 1969
There is no way you can use the word "reality" without quotation marks around it. ~Joseph Campbell, unverified
His face too was comical, his eyebrows fighting each other like quotation marks, his ears pink as a pig's. ~Jenny Colgan, The Boy I Loved Before, 2004
In its final form of the name change from Herbert Lovel to William Lovell, the double l at the end of the name echoes the double l within the first name. They stand like quotation marks surrounding part of the name, and what they quote is not just an English word but an English sentence: Will
My life's entwined by curly quote marks
Clever phrases and profound remarks...
~Terri Guillemets (quotation anthologist), "Bookended," 2001