Friday, February 13, 2009

It's all about the quotation marks and apostrophes...
or "is" it?

Last night in class, we touched (very briefly) on the subject of writing rules and style. Actually, my discussion of the topic (grammar, spelling, punctuation) went more like this: "I know that you read the chapter on writing mechanics. And I know you are all college seniors or graduate students, so I know you guys know how to write. And, to be honest with you, I really don't care to talk about commas and apostrophes and verbals and gerunds and dangling participles. So, we're moving on to better topics."

Most of us probably zoned out a little bit in junior high and high school when the talk in English class turned toward grammar. Doing sentence diagrams and talking about proper tense really didn't excite too many of us. (I, personally, was ready to be set loose on an Emily Dickinson poem or write my own short story.)

Still, as a writer, I know that those things matter. I know that I need to spell correctly, or people might question why I'm a writer in the first place. I need to know the difference between IT and IT'S or they might--rightly--assume that I am a doofus.

I have found, though, that I do get some sense of joy out of the grammatical process.

Granted, it doesn't come from my own dealings with the issue. It comes from the improper dealings other people have with the issue.

I'm one of those people who can spot a misused apostrophe on a billboard from miles away.

And don't get me "started" on "people" who like to put quotation marks around "unnecessary" words ("sorta" like I did in that last sentence).

Imagine my joy, then, when I came upon two wonderfully humorous blogs that take a stand against such misuse of the English language!

The first one--The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks--showcases pictures of quotations marks being used incorrectly. The pictures are sent in by concerned citizens from all over the world. There really are some priceless images there. Like these...

All I gotta say out for the food at that place! If it's posing as Award-winning food, you might get salmonella or something.

And then there's this blog--The Apostrophe Protection Society--that seeks to fight for the proper use of apostrophes, and alert the world to situations where they are used incorrectly. With images like these...

On that note...

I hope you have a "wonderful" weekend and "fabulous" Valentines Day. I hope its filled with all sorts of "good" stuff. (That was intentional humor! Don't turn me into either one of those watchdog organizations!)


Monogram Queen said...

Happy Happy Valentines Day Cheryl and Gary!

I love your cookies in the header!

Danielle said...

Hehehehhehehe "Have a great Valentine's Day" and I "LOVE" your new cookie banner!

Cheryl Wray said...

Queen--You KNOW we will have a good one! Lots of food and fun! I hope you have a great one too!

Danielle--Funny, huh? And that's the way to join in the spirit!!

Laura said...

I have to admit, I was pretty good with grammer in school. I can't remember ever being marked off for a fragment sentence or anything like that. So one of my personal pet peeves are the very things you mentioned!! And get what I heard this week...I'm peeved about punctuation, and we've got poor mommas in our state that can't even read the prescription bottles to give their baby meds! Ugh! Something's gotta happen!!

Lynilu said...

I've noticed people using quotation marks for emphasis, too. A lot! My late hub did that. I'll admit to using them in another way that is suspect. I put them around words that are replacing other, possibly objectionable, words. As in : she said I was being "unpleasant," rather than writing what she actually said, that I was being b*tchy!

My grammar and punctuation used to be so good. I'm becoming very sloppy, I'm afraid. When I was doing field supervision of graduate students, I was abhorred at their lack of writing skills. I held their feet to the fire over it by refusing to accept reports that were filled with misspellings, dangling participles, missing or overused punctuation, etc., and some were furious; however, most were much improved by the time they left me. Now, here in internet-land, I'm becoming more like them. argh.

You've made me conscious of my lazy error's, and I'll "correct" my bad habit's, I promi's'e!!

Ms.L said...

hahahahahaha,those were awesome!

I am guilty of grammer offences a time or two(or is it two?;P) so I
have no right to say anything but some of the things you mentioned bug me as well!
What I especially hate are the "" around the name of my animals,at the vet's office. I always take that to mean that their name is silly or false somehow and that their real name is the description of their breed,like Male Orange Tabby Miller. "" are not used around my name(what am I? Female Swedish/Native Miller?) so why use them around my pet's name? SO annoying.

Jenster said...

Love those!

Quotations marks and apostrophes are also one of my pet peaves. The worst, though, is when I type something in a rush and then later see where I typed "they're" instead of "their". I hate when I catch myself and then wonder how many other people caught it. Obviously you and Lynilu do! LOL

Cheryl Wray said...

Laura--Isn't that just pitiful? There's got to be a way to fight illiteracy.

Lynilu--Well, I have to admit that I do like to overdo quotation marks at times as well. I definitely fall in the same trap sometimes. LOL I LOVE your last sentence.

Ms. L--That's crazy about how the vet office uses them. We are apparently in a quotation mark-crazy society! :-)

Jenster--I know what you mean! I hate it when I dash off a quick email and then realize that I totally misspelled something or used a word incorrectly. We all do that, I think!

Kelly (what's cookin) said...

LOL. or is that "LOL?" or "LOL"? Anyway, I was a grammar nerd. I loved it!

Happy Valentine's Day! (or is it Valentines)

Gretchen said...

Oh, "gee" I'll be embarrassed if I make a "mistake". But I "soooo" know what yo'ure talkin" about.

I lurve this header, but when Vday is over, please put the other cute one of you up again. "Please".

hippo chick said...

Okay Cheryl, but where did you find those blog sites "at"? My personal favorite - UGH!!!

Hayyp Valentine's Day to you and

Gary and the girls. Have a wonderful weekend. And, yes, you will have time to travel and enjoy your life with Gary in retirement. For now, enjoy your perfectly lovely life.

~hippo hugs~

Dettao said...

I am guilty of the quotation mark misuse but I find incorrect use of apostrophes painful. It drives me crazy to see them misused. Love the cookie banner, too. Yummy

Cheryl Wray said...

Kelly--LOL You guys are cracking me up!

Gretchen--You're cracking me up too! (And, yes, I will definitely put Sweet Young Cheryl up on my banner again after Val Day is over.) :-)

Hippo--Yes, the "at" gets to me too. LOL Hope your trip is going great!

Detta--Yeah, the apostrophes especially get on my nerves too.

Edleen said...

"Oh My Goodness!!!" hehehe...

Happy Valentine's Day!
have a great week ahead Cheryl :)

Gin said...

These are great Cheryl.
Cant wait to hear about your Valentine's Day.

Maria Hammon said...

LOL...I totally knew that last "paragraph" was intentional! :D

My comment "is", too, by the way! :D