People Who Do Not “Understand” Quotation Marks


Even the best of us make a grammar mistake here and there, especially when it comes to punctuation. While experts may still argue over the correct use and placement of a semi colon, quotation marks have a well accepted use and placement. Some folks, however, didn’t get the memo, to hilarious results.

“Great” Credentials

This skydiving course may want to rethink their ill place quotation marks, because it sure seems like they’re trying to hide the fact that their airplanes are secretly shoddy.

Sleepily Guarded

The stereotype of the lazy and ineffectual security guard is certainly upheld by the photo below. Not only did the sign makers seem to sense that these security guards were little more than props to pretend like this gated community was secure, the sleeping security guard within the booth does nothing to dispel that insinuation. Really, this booth is where they send grandpa when he wants to work a few hours a day, and still nap the rest of the time.

Sorry Not Sorry

“Dear customers, we, the management would like to inform you that we have absolutely zero remorse with regards to your desire to pay by credit card. While our machine is not exactly ‘broken’, we cannot be bothered to use it for today. Replacing the roll of thermal paper that prints your receipts is too much effort for our employees today, so we will make everyone’s lives just a bit more difficult, by requesting that you all pay in cash. Besides, math is good for your brain.”

No Need For Ebay

It’s common knowledge that when passing along hand me downs, you should never include underwear in that mix. No one wants someone’s used delicates, especially when fresh ones can be found on the cheap at a number of discount stores. The quotations around ‘new’ do nothing to entice customers, especially given the haphazard way these are heaped into a basket, sans packaging. This also looks like a garage sale, meaning it’s more than likely that the items in the basket are not new.

He Plays One On TV

Surgical procedures are probably the one place where you want to be extra certain that your doctor really has the credentials. This plastic surgeon’s unfortunate quotation placement makes it seem like he’s as qualified for surgery as the actors on the medical comedy, Scrubs. Anyone looking for liposuction should probably run far, far away from this doctor, and find someone who doesn’t advertise themselves as “real”. Your best bet is to find someone board certified with an MD next to their name.

The Throes Of Hysteria

In a nod to the maladies of olden times, this sign seems to be speaking to the many Victorian era women who were afflicted with hysterical pregnancies. No, they weren’t really pregnant, they were ‘pregnant’. All signs pointed to the fact that they would bear another child in a matter of months, except of course, they wouldn’t. It takes an exceptional person to suffer from a hysterical pregnancy and to be aware enough of the irony of it that could then inform the technician.

For All Eternity

Just like with marriage vows, the promise of forever is one that is often broken. The owner of this bathroom clearly knew that when he placed the quotation marks around ‘forever’. Unless they’re planning to tear the bathroom down and build something else in its place, it’s probably a better business plan to have a bathroom on the premises. Leaving it broken forever is definitely the best way to convince people to patronize another place of business.

The Day Old Stand

In a worrying mistake, this store has made it seem that the fish they’re offering customers will be anything but fresh. Seafood is probably the one item you want to be overly certain is absolutely at its peak, given that it’s the perfect environment for breeding bacteria. When sales dropped significantly following the posting of this sign, the store hopefully realized that their unfortunate punctuation placement was the culprit and not a sudden change in their clientele’s tastes.

Enter The Forbidden Room

In this case, ‘allowed’ seems to be a suggestion, something more akin to, ‘maybe it’s better not to go through that door’. It could otherwise imply that there is some sort of loophole that customers can find in order to better explore the forbidden corridor. Of course, forbidding anything only makes it a more enticing prospect, even when someone otherwise would have no desire to explore said area. Maybe the management should have gone with the classic, “employees only.”

A Sprinkle Of Snow

There are a lot of things people liken their morning coffee to, especially when it’s difficult for them to go a day without it. Add sugar onto that and it’s like your life suddenly depends on getting your morning brew. However, this coffee shop seems to imply that there’s something more to their cup of sugar than meets the eye. After all, it’s not the only white substance that can give you energy. If you really wanted to prank someone, however, substitute salt for sugar.

A Dog By Any Other Name

Drop all your prejudices because it’s ok to love the ironic hot dog. The ironic hot dog comes equipped with artisanally harvested offal from hand fed, heirloom animals, as well as hand picked grain fillers. They’re hand packed into fresh casings from the same heirloom animals, before being craft cured to perfection. These ironic hot dogs are then lovingly dropped into a steamy water bath, before being boiled to the perfect snap. Try ironic hot dogs, located at your neighborhood corner store.

Not Your Average Tex-Mex

While it’s usually the dive-iest places that serve some of the best food, Oscar’s Catina’s choice to advertise their authenticity has come off as entirely disingenuous. In fact, as advertised, their food seems like it would be anything but authentic. We all know what non-authentic Mexican food is. It’s served at places like Chipotle, where you can order burritos so overstuffed that by the time you finish it, you won’t need to eat for another week.

Not For Noses

If you were looking for a Kleenex, you’re going to need to look elsewhere. Though the bright color may throw you off, these aren’t napkins either. The unscrupulous labeler was trying to imply that the contents contained within are something akin to tissues, but likely not the ones you’re thinking of. If we had to guess, it seems like this label was intended to mean tissue paper. So maybe in this case the quotations weren’t wholly misused.

Happily Ever After

We all know what “massage” implies. It’s the best kind of massage, the one that’s not at all professional, and possibly not quite legal. This sign is chock full of enigma. Sure, massages should be relaxing, but they are certainly not a sport, at least not for the person on the receiving end. What they meant by ‘reductive’, however, is still elusive, though perhaps they were just trying to cover every part of speech on their sign.

Celiacs Beware

Celiacs, beware! This section isn’t actually gluten-free, it’s just pretending to be gluten-free. While the products look like none of them contain gluten, we can’t be certain that all of them are, because this is the fake gluten-free section. The real section is in the other aisle, the one that doesn’t exist. Either that, or this store started putting out its gluten-free products and then realized that they didn’t have quite enough products to fill it out, so it’s only half a gluten-free section.

Unknown Liquid Dispenser

There are a lot of issues with the object in the photo. First of all, maybe that’s what soap dispensers looked like in bathrooms in 1975, but now it looks like a medieval torture device in the midst of a modern bathroom. The design of the object is already enough to make one wary of whatever sort of liquid it dispenses. The label of “lotion” with the questionable use of quotation marks makes whatever is inside even more suspect.

Only Scoundrels Apply

It’s not very comforting when a store advertises that they are always looking for ‘great people’. If they were actually finding ‘great people’, they likely would need to continuously look. That means, this store is probably only looking for scoundrels. Someone they can take the time to train, maybe for a day or two, before they inevitably do such a bad job that they’re either let go within a week or two, or they end up quitting.

Extras On The Side

It’s a good thing this isn’t a massage parlor, because extra “sauce” would have some seriously different connotations. Even here, the quotations around ‘sauce’ make it seem like it’s something more sinister. It’s either that or something totally gross. Then again, who really wants to get Asian take out where they don’t throw in some extra packets of soy and duck sauce? There are so many places who provide it for free you might as well go somewhere that just shares the sauce.

Chamber Pots Only

Broken toilet, no toilet, the management couldn’t really tell the difference. Really, they just wanted to suggest to their customers that this bathroom was for employee use only. They were fed up with the constant stream of customers who were occupying their bathroom, so they thought suggesting that the toilet was out of order, and that one shouldn’t use it would be the best course of action. The stunt ended up totally backfiring on them, as the toilet promptly stopped working.

Take A Number

This is certainly a creative way to describe a deli counter. At least, we hope this is a deli counter. Though “meat service” does sound like a more delicate way to describe butchering, it isn’t the most expected way to describe it. Of course, this could very well refer to the meat servicing counter, where attendants will clean and buff your steaks to a perfect shine. That way, when you go home you’ll have a glistening hunk of beef to throw on the grill.

A Cheesy Emergency

“Hey Chipotle lovers, this is an announcement to let you all know that we are unfortunately in the midst of a cheese crisis. By that I mean, we are “out of cheese”. ‘How?’ you ask. Well, see, here’s the thing. We got kind of hungry back here, and thought, ‘Hey, Chipotle always has too much cheese, why don’t we snack on some just until we’re no longer ravenous?’ You can see how that easily snowballed, and well, we ate it all. Sorry.”

Ringing Is Relative

Ringing, beeping, screeching, it’s all roughly the same thing. As long as pedestrians and motor vehicle operators know to stay off the tracks before a train comes, they don’t really care how they describe the warning signal. ‘Ringing’ is just a suggestion, since technicians may come back and change the alert signal at any time. They generally do so whenever conductors complain about the sound after hearing it at every single pedestrian crossing. One day though, they’ll change the signal to an annoying song instead.

For VIPs Only

This association knew they had to devise a devious scheme in order to prevent that annoying guy upstairs from coming to the district picnic. They knew that he would fall for anything, so the picnic organizers slyly emailed the entire association, barring that one guy, telling them that the sign in the elevator was intended ironically. The park might have been flooded, but the picnic definitely wasn’t going to be cancelled. Unless the annoying guy showed up, then they’d reschedule.

Open With Caution

While you might be tempted to open the mystery door at the end of the hallway, beware, because you will definitely not be finding a set of stairs behind this door. If you were hoping to travel up or down, you might be out of luck, because this door is assuredly not harboring a secret staircase. There’s always the possibility of course that it’s a slide lurking unexpectedly, or more startling, a shoot. Then again, it could just be a boring corridor, just not stairs.

Pull My “Finger”

If this store wanted to discourage the use of a stylus or worse, a pen, on their credit card payment screen, they might want to rethink how the instruct their customers to go about doing so. The quotations around ‘finger’ in the sign insinuates something far more bizarre. You know, use that other thing that’s sorta like a finger. Maybe your toe? That’s probably not what they were going for, since there would otherwise be a fair amount of stinky feet crowding the register.

Ascent By Elevator Only

Someone really had a lot of difficulty with being emphatic. The proliferation of quotation marks in this particular sign makes it one of the hardest for us to parse. Which part of it is intended ironically, which part is serious? The poor punctuation used here makes the sign a walking contradiction. We just hope that if this elevator is indeed broken, the building manager also blocked the doorway so that no one could make the mistake of getting on.

Long Term Parking Here

For those tasked with the unfortunate job of policing parking space time limits, there is much joy to be taken in a visitor overstaying their time limit by sheer seconds. The management of this condo building knows that it’s pointless to be so concerned by parking time limits. To seem tough, they thought it might be a good idea to add the threat of towing, but to soften the blow and show that they weren’t really serious, they put it in quotation marks.

Worst Helmets Ever

Traveling by bike is one of the most incredible ways to take in a location. As you traverse a shoreline or a mountain trail, you’re completely consumed by the scenery as you slowly roll by. It’s generally a good idea to wear a helmet when you ride, and in fact, many states have made it illegal to ride without one. This rental company, however, knows that the helmets they have on offer are super stylish but non functional, hence the suggestion that they’re about ‘safety’.

The Hidden Fire Hydrant

Even more puzzling than the woefully incorrect use of quotation marks in the sign below is the reasoning behind such a sign. What sort of establishment allows pets, but then also has such an issue with dogs being brought into the bathroom that they have to put up a sign forbidding it? Not to mention, this makes it look like a definite green light for dogs to use this bathroom as they please. And if they’re toilet trained, why not?

Bulletin War

This snarky teacher needed to get back at the janitor who implored her not staple decorations to her bulletin board rather than simply tacking them on. Of course, the response to the misused quotation marks was really just a signal that shots had been fired. After this, the slighted janitor decided to exact revenge by not cleaning the room for over a week, until the trash cans were overflowing and the room reeked of rotting children’s snacks. Remember that next time you unleash your inner grammar nerd.