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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

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  85 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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(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Lavoie
Jul 20, 2011 Jennifer Lavoie rated it really liked it
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
Dec 04, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
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
Jun 05, 2012 Kricket rated it really liked it
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
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.
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
I "enjoyed reading" this "book."
Sep 04, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
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?
Aug 31, 2010 Margie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: words
So "good". I'm not sure which I like better - the photos or the snarky comments that accompany the photos.
Evan Ponstingle
Oct 30, 2013 Evan Ponstingle rated it it was amazing
The funniest book I have ever read. I have NEVER read through this without laughing!
Dec 05, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
My sister picked up this book because... well, honestly, we had experience with people using unnecessary quotation marks and this book looked like it would be funny. We were not disappointed! It was so funny to see all the times other people used quotes when they didn't need to be there. In some cases, the implications - because of the punctuation - made an otherwise boring, ordinary sign into something totally hilarious.
Sep 11, 2015 Stef rated it liked it
Books like this can feel redundant when read from start to finish in one sitting, and this one is no exception; the quotation-mark-laden text becomes dizzying at a point and you forget what you're looking at, aside from a heap of wrongness. Still, in small doses, this book is enjoyable. The captions are entertaining and amusing, although they can be distract from the images of text; they suggest a way of reading and interpreting the quoted text and it can be confusing.

I do love/hate inappropria
Jul 28, 2012 Harris rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, web-original
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
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
Nov 06, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Couldn't wait to get this book and read it cover to cover in about an hour, and laughed aloud through the whole thing. Clever, snarky commentary at its best, without being preachy or condescending. I'd give it 5 stars, but can't, since it's really more of a slideshow than a "book," and I think I would have laughed equally hard without much of the commentary. Many of the signs, like one that reads "JESUS" IS COMING, speak for themselves. A must-read for people like me who walk through their days ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 26, 2010 Aubrey rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Mar 22, 2014 Marzena rated it did not like it
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.
Sep 09, 2011 Halli rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 04, 2016 Steph rated it really liked it
This book is so amazing. I love that someone else in this world has a problem watching quotation marks pop up in the most ridiculous places! Lovely idea for a book, but it did get a bit repetitive; maybe not every photo needed a caption... Half its length could have left only the very best ones and therefore left me laughing hysterically throughout.
Jul 20, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 04, 2014 Mystry rated it it was amazing
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".
Dec 12, 2010 Shari rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, but not worth the $17 price tag for a hardcover. Just "stand" in the store and "read" it for "free." If this sort of thing drives you nuts, you'll love it! When is the sequel, The Book of UNNECESSARY All Caps, coming out?
Kristy McRae
Jul 26, 2011 Kristy McRae rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 14, 2011 Cris rated it it was ok
A few of the photos are funny, but most of the amusement factor comes from the sarcastic, even snarky commentary.

Not quite as funny as I was hoping, but still worth the reading. It's good for short bursts of reading.
Dec 23, 2012 Sandy rated it really liked it
Hilarious. The cover picture still makes me giggle, remembering the commentary on it in the book. I've been following the "blog" for ages, and was glad to see the kindle version cheap. Super-quick read, and a good laugh.
Jul 05, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 22, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it
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.
Jun 05, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
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.
Jan 08, 2011 Brigid rated it it was ok
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oy, I've got tears from laughing so much! OK, that's from the first 1/3 of the book. From then on, it was only a few laughs and quite a few groans.
I'd only recommend the first third of the book.
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