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The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation
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The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  75 reviews
From the sarcastic to the suggestive, here are quotation marks as we love them best, doing horrible damage to the English language. Who wouldn't have second thoughts about ordering the "hamburger" on the diner's menu? Would it be best to skip the "blowout" sale at the department store? What hidden price must be paid for something marked "free"? Assembled by the creator of ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published July 28th 2010 by Chronicle Books (first published July 14th 2010)
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PostSecret by Frank WarrenA Lifetime of Secrets by Frank WarrenPostSecret by Frank WarrenMy Secret by Frank WarrenPassive Aggressive Notes by Kerry Miller
Found, Submitted
18th out of 56 books — 30 voters
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshAlice in Tumblr-land by Tim ManleyCake Wrecks by Jen YatesThe Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks by Bethany KeeleyRegretsy by April Winchell
You've seen the blog. Now read the book!
4th out of 39 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 914)
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Jennifer Lavoie
I bought this book because I thought it would be funny to have in my classroom, and I figured I might find some examples that would make the kids not only laugh, but teach them. There were some times I was so hysterical reading the book and seeing the silly marks put that I had to put the book down or risk dropping it. I don't know if I was just in a silly mood from the heat of if it was genuinely that funny. I did enjoy it though, and I know some students will also think it funny. There are man ...more
David Schaafsma
I got this book so I could have something to show everyone and to have for myself a paper copy of Keeley's amazing blog of Unnecessary quotation marks, and it is terrific, worth a lot of laughs. Keeley herself started to take photographs (am I right, Bethany?) of signs all over the country of this curious grammatical phenomenon on people putting quotes around words for no clear (to me) reason. As in "Fresh" Brown Eggs for Sale! Funny, right? So she invites people all over the world to send her p ...more
full disclosure- i grew up with the author of this book and i've been reading her blog for several years, so i already knew i'd "like" this "book." (sorry. i know. everyone's doing that.) anyway, the material here really isn't different from that on the blog, but it's fun to read in print. bethany's commentary made me laugh so hard that the other people in the break room made me pass the book around, and then we were all "dying."

only slightly related tangent:
i think the concept of blogs publish
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
I "enjoyed reading" this "book."
The pictures are the star of this book; the commentary often amusing but nothing glorious. There were some odd typos in the actual text that made me side-eye this--if you're calling someone out for weird punctuation, please check your spelling. I know this is Muphry's Law at work (and I'll probably mess something up in this review), but still.

Definitely just borrow this from your library--it's not worth whatever hipster price they're charging for it as a Novelty Book.
This book was life changing....I'm sure I will never use quotation marks again without taking pause first to see that I'm using them "correctly" :) Fun book, quick to read since mostly pictures. Thanks bro' for the nifty Christmas present!
Aug 14, 2010 Oriana marked it as to-read
Aw, if only I still worked in a bookstore where I could "steal" books. Because I'd love to have this book in my bathroom, but it's not really very likely I would ever exchange money for that "privilege," you know?
So "good". I'm not sure which I like better - the photos or the snarky comments that accompany the photos.
Evan Ponstingle
The funniest book I have ever read. I have NEVER read through this without laughing!
Everywhere are signs
Unnecessary quotation marks here
Unnecessary quotation marks there

This book making me think
All about signs
What do those quotation marks
Really mean?

I either don't pay attention to the signs around me they don't have unnecessary quotation marks on the signs where I live. From now on I''ll on the look out for signs like these.
You call this "punctuation"? You say you graduated "high school", right? Have you "emphasized" the right "words", "question mark"? You probably haven't. The pictures and captions in this book are lessons in negative reinforcement, and an absolute riot for grammar fanatics. They'll have you slapping your forehead and giggling for hours.
Another book "iteration" of a humorous blog featuring "user" submitted material gathered from the wide weird "world." In this case, "unnecessary" quotation marks, which to me are a particularly funny brand of grammatical weirdness that pops up "frequently" in the wild on daily life. The placement of the "humble" quotation marks in an otherwise commonplace statement such as an ad for "handmade" candy (to give an example I saw personally just yesterday) can open up so much interpretation. Is it ac ...more
Tara Schaafsma
I find these somewhat hilarious when I see them online, but all together in a book they got a little boring.
I thought this would be funny and it was, at times, but mostly it just gave me a headache.
I almost wake up my husband while reading this book in bed. So many chuckles.
Shonna Froebel
This is one of those short, humorous books that have you chuckling as you read. As a lover of words, grammar and punctuation, I was naturally drawn to this one.
It includes photos of signs with quotation marks in, surprise surprise, unnecessary places. Keeley groups them into categories like "Work", "Restaurants", etc. and a short comment is included with each one.
It really does make you wonder what goes through people's heads when they are making these signs. It also reflects sadly on our educat
Apr 28, 2014 Nan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Lots of "fun" for punctuation nerds.
Katie Rowe
Love this book! Hilarious for teachers!
This book is "hilarious".
I'm always willing to read a book that makes fun of punctuation errors! This book was so funny, and is definitely worth reading if you are constantly wondering why people use quotation marks for emphasis. This is a coffee table type of book, great for a quick amusing glance. I found the humour hilarious and sardonic. This would be an excellent gift for an English teacher or someone with a particular pet peeve for misused quotation marks.
Wondermous in entertainment value. Tragic in regards to reality.
Do you know what blog posts tend to do? They tend to do dull books. Especially if the book repeats the posts.

I came for fun and what I got was a twichy eye and quiet whimpering of my inner grammarian. Remarks aside, do these photos really make you laugh? Cause I'd rather cry at these poor souls who didn't bother to pay attention at school. And then possibly I'd toss a book at them.
Jun 13, 2014 Mystry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grammar Police with a sense of humor
I found this book for a dollar at Half-Price Books. I noticed it was published by Chronicle Books, and as I love the quirky things they put out had to buy it. Definitely worth a dollar as it gave me quite a few good chuckles. Every page has a full-color picture along with a little blurb. Some of the places people have decided to use quotation marks... "yikes".
I'm always willing to read a book that makes fun of punctuation errors! This book was so funny, and is definitely worth reading if you are constantly wondering why people use quotation marks for emphasis. The signs alone would make for an entertaining read, but the author's comments are what make this book truly worthwhile. My cheeks still hurt from laughing!
The criteria for books like this is simple - provide a few laugh out loud moments with plenty of other smirks or snickers. This book failed in all accounts. It was enjoyable, but not something I would look at again unless there were no other options. The blog the book is based off of is a perfect example of what is in the book, with nothing expanded upon.
Raymond Harder
Fun book for us "grammar snobs! Good for some light entertainment some night after a bad day!
I really enjoyed reading this book and I liked the author's sense of humor and how it was portrayed through the comments made about each image of "creative punctuation". I loved seeing this collation of incorrect use of quotation marks and how they could be interpreted.
Jul 05, 2013 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: humour
This was LOL (literally) funny but more so in small doses. I find that with a lot of humour books I numb out if I read too much at one sitting. I thought Bethany's (and friends')comments were hilarious. I don't think I was aware of the blog but will try to visit it every once in awhile now.
Kristy McRae
A must-read for anyone who's a punctuation/grammar stickler (like me!)--very funny! I loved the author's humorous, tongue-in-cheek commentary, and that she has a website, where people can submit photos of signs/etc with strange quotation mark usage.
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