I’m being bombarded with excessive doses of unintentional irony expressed by people who fundamentally do not understand the proper use of quotation marks. I suspect someone (you know who you are) is trying to distract me from the collapse of serial comma hegemony.
You. . .can’t. . .wear. . .me. . .down. . .ooomph. . .yarglebargle. . .must . . .punctuate. . .properly. . .
The latest example, though certainly not the greatest, arrived in my mail box courtesy of Gary Friedman, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Hardware. The store, he reveals, after quoting Picasso and using an em-dash improperly, has transmogrified (my word, not his):
In a rush to sound important, he sounds, well, as pompous as I sound pointing out that his em-dash does not have the proper spacing. And looks like it might actually be an en-dash to boot.
Here’s the lesson, people.
Use quotation marks:
- To signify an actual direct quote.
- To indicate that you are using a word in an ironic fashion.
Do not use quotation marks for emphasis. Ever.
Gary Friedman, get new copywriters.