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Tom Meagher


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"Hilarious", no sarcasm intended

One of my grammatical pet peeves is the abuse of quotation marks. I see it often in my daily life, but as I’ve been editing lately, I’ve noticed it popping up more and more in the stories I coach. A lot of young reporters think that quoting just one word an official says lends their story some kind of credibility. What they fail to realize is that the technique has the opposite effect. It either confuses the reader or suggests that the writer intends to use the quote sarcastically.

So I was thrilled this morning when I discovered (through the help of the ever-resourceful Depth Reporting) the “Blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks. Hopefully this will help me make my argument that it’s often better to avoid the gratuitous quotation marks as if they were “air quotes”. Enjoy.