“Some” People Don’t Know “How” To Use Quotation “Marks” Correctly

It has “come” to my attention that “some” people don’t know how and when “to” correctly use quotation “marks.” “It’s” an epidemic “that’s sweeping” the nation. 

Chalk “it” off to laziness, or “apathy,” or a faulty “education,” but the end result is the same. “Confusion!” It’s clear that we, “as a nation,” suffer from a fundamental lack of respect for this “very important and useful” form of punctuation. But “I” refuse to stand for it “any longer!” It’s time we stop accepting the quotation mark’s flagrant “misuse.”

Just the other “day,” I was talking to my friend “Bob,” who said, Actually, Erik, I think you’re “the one who” uses quotation marks wrong all “the” time. Thankfully I have the “confidence” of a “straight” white man and I know he’s “wrong.” I’m “not” here for your gaslighting, Bob. I was an English Literature major, for “cryin’” out loud. I’ve got my quotation “marks usage” on lockdown. In fact, “you need” to check yourself before making an ill-informed accusation like that, Bob. 

“But let’s investigate why so many other people don’t know their quotation marks from their commas.” Including the current “President” of the “United” States, whose “tweets” notoriously display an alarmingly weak “grasp” of the English language. I’d venture to guess these “bad” grammar habits originated with the advent “of” texting. When you’re “typing everything” with only your “two” thumbs, it’s only natural to look for shortcuts.

Likewise, air “quotes have” diluted the quotation mark’s power. Have “you” ever been talking to “someone” who uses air quotes so much that you want to “scream”: Your enthusiasm for air quotes makes them “less effective” than they should be!!! But you “end up” not saying anything because you don’t want them to think you’re rude? And then you “regret” not defending your favorite punctuation mark and think “this is how fascism starts, when people” don’t say something. We’ve “all” been there. Hence “the phrase” Grammar Nazi.

Another problem is “the internet.” If you’re “genuinely” interested in fixing your bad punctuation habits, you might decide to search “how to use quotation marks” on “Google.” And do you know where “that” search leads you? To a bunch of punctuation “use” sites and style sheets. Which, frankly, “bored me to tears.” They were so mind-numbingly dull that I stopped reading them while “writing” this piece. But it doesn’t matter because I know “what” I’m doing. 

Meanwhile, I searched “quotation mark misuse” on WebMD and found that symptoms include conjunctionitis, missed periods, adverbal diarrhea, and jingoism. And no one wants “that.” So get your punctuation shit “together, people!”

Maybe it’s “time we” sex-up punctuation? Think of the sensual curves of a quotation mark and tell me you aren’t even a little “bit” titillated. I realize you can’t actually tell me because we don’t have “comments” open on this “website,” but I’m going to take your silence as tacit agreement. Still, quotation marks could be “sexier.” Perhaps we should “add” serifs to quotation marks? After all, there’s nothing sexier than “small decorative strokes.” 

Of course, we could always blame “hipsters” for the country’s decline in correct quotation mark usage. We blamed them for avocado toast and boutique ice cream parlors, so why “not” this? Next time you “encounter” a hipster, ask them to “properly quote” something, “please.” If they just “look at you” with a blank stare, they probably have no idea what your problem is, which is “precisely” the “problem!”

Fortunately, there “are a few of us” who still know how to “use” the quotation mark, and “we” use it well. So I’d like “to” salute us. May we forever forge a “trail of” knowledge for the rest of the idiots “out there.” And if you’re as exhausted after reading this as I am after writing it, this last sentence, sans quotation marks, is for you. 

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