“Learn” “to” “use” “punctuation”

Grant Street, Federal Courthouse.

It’s under construction and there is a nice little sign telling you which door to enter if you are a guest. It says:


Huh? Every word individually quoted. Is this a figurative entrance for figurative visitors, or is the lucky person that got tasked with making the sign on Word one of those people that uses air quotes incorrectly when they are engaged in conversation?

You know those people that say, “So, I went to the (air quotes) MALL (end air quotes) today and bought a cool (air quotes) SWEATER (end air quotes).”


  1. Henry
    August 23, 2005 10:31 am

    How did that “happen?”
    Air quotes of course.

    I love seeing signs that people have something in quotes, but they meant to make it bold, for emphasis.

    Cash and debit cards “only”
    for example.

  2. Julie
    August 23, 2005 10:41 am

    I had a boss that used to put everything in quotes like that all the time. Like, I would get an email that said:

    Hi Julie, Here is the “form” we discussed. See you after “lunch!”

    It was kind of an ongoing joke until I started doing it too. Good thing I don’t “work there” anymore.

  3. pittgirl
    August 23, 2005 10:45 am

    Did you ever see the episode of Friends where Joey was trying to figure out how to use air quotes and when Ross said, “thank you” to him he said “you’re welcome” and used air quotes to say it? Awesome.

  4. Rob
    August 23, 2005 1:07 pm

    With government, those could have been individual quotes from separate people on the sign committee.

    They may never have agreed on the wording!

  5. Jo Janoski
    August 23, 2005 1:14 pm

    The _Federal_ Courthouse, you say? Well, you know the Feds–always lots of extra bureaucracy…sounds like a really enthusiastic bureaucrat!

  6. pittgirl
    August 23, 2005 1:34 pm

    Yes, a SIGN COMMITTEE! That must be it. I wonder who was responsible for the word “for”. Whew. I hope they are getting paid at least $1,000 a minute for that hard work.