Writing is a bit like alchemy. You take a bunch of separate elements—like grammar, style, flow, passion, creativity, story, characters, twists, and turns—and you mix them together to get the result that you want. Sometimes, your experiments pay off and you communicate your innermost ideas to your readers. Other times, you mess up and accidentally write hilarious things without meaning to.

And, boy, do people make funny blunders often! It usually has something to do with a lack of understanding of how things like the elements of punctuation work. For example, some individuals find it hard to grasp how quotation marks should be used. And when they mess up, we’re left with suspiciously-sounding sentences and unintended double entendres.

We collected some of the best such examples from the ‘“Suspiciously” Used Quotation Marks’ subreddit, so scroll down, enjoy, check out our interview with one of the community's managers, and upvote your fave sentences. Be sure to let us know which ones made you laugh the hardest!

#1

Very "Useful" Tutorial

Very "Useful" Tutorial

papasuncle Report

Rowlie
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Spice up" any Facebook comment with random quotation marks

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Oh No, Timmy

Oh No, Timmy

pancakegalaxy Report

#3

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

docju Report

Bored Panda spoke with Searchlights, one of the moderators for the '"Suspiciously" Used Quotation Marks' community on Reddit. We wanted to find out more about the subreddit, as well as why people misuse quotation marks.

"Misused quotation marks are something I've often noticed in daily life, and after seeing some caught-in-the-wild examples posted to subreddits like r/funny I got to thinking that it's an example of absurdity that is prevalent enough to have its own subreddit," Searchlights said about the founding of the community. "The challenges I've had in growing the subreddit has largely been a matter of time. The sub gains 10 to 15 subscribers per day organically, but on days when a post makes the front page I'll see an influx of hundreds or thousands of new subscribers. That usually happens a half a dozen times a year."

"The persistent problem with the subreddit is quality control. There are a lot of submissions that are redundant or that people just don't find to be funny."

#4

I Feel So Sorry For That Actor

I Feel So Sorry For That Actor

CaptainRipp Report

#6

This Is What I Think Of Your So-Called Allergy

This Is What I Think Of Your So-Called Allergy

horthianflorff Report

Poppy Petal
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love it how they make a distiction between "chicken or meat".

View More Replies...
View more comments

Bored Panda was interested to figure out why so many people find it hard to grasp how quotation marks should be used. Here's what Searchlights had to say: "I tend to think it's related to the challenge of finding nuance and tone in text. People want to emphasize a word, and for whatever reason they think putting it in quotations gets them there."

"Generally, the use of quotation marks (when they're not an actual quotation) carries a connotation of sarcasm, or of a tongue-in-cheek admission that the thing in quotes isn't actually what it's said to be. That's what has the effect of making the statement suspicious," they explained. "My favorite examples usually come from the food service industry. There's something alarming about chicken being written dubiously as "chicken" (what is it, really?)"

#7

My Husband Was Given This Notepad At His New Job. Most Discouraging Use Of Quotation Marks

My Husband Was Given This Notepad At His New Job. Most Discouraging Use Of Quotation Marks

missliza Report

#8

Suspicious Church

Suspicious Church

BIGJake111 Report

#9

That Is Unsettling

That Is Unsettling

TikiTakaTimbuktu Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Companies doing their work "honestly" are way too common.

View More Replies...
View more comments

According to the Macmillan Dictionary Blog, there are some very good reasons why people misuse quotes. Usually, quotation marks (aka inverted commas) are used for quotations (wow, what a shocker!), to denote the title of a book or movie or some unfamiliar words.

What’s more, we use quotation marks to show that we’re using a word with irony or to demonstrate our skepticism. After all, if you call someone a writer in your article, it’s a compliment; on the other hand, calling them a “writer” would be an insult! The Oxford Manual of Style calls these ‘scare quotes’ and explains that writers use them to distance themselves from the words in question.

#10

You Might Want To Clarify Your Acronym A Bit

You Might Want To Clarify Your Acronym A Bit

buttwarmers Report

#12

I Don't Think I've Ever Been More Intimidated By A Piece Of Mail

I Don't Think I've Ever Been More Intimidated By A Piece Of Mail

waifus4laifus69 Report

Cordelia
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So what was in the envelope??? 👀👀👀👀

View More Replies...
View more comments

Now, here’s the (geeky) fun part: whereas some people stress a certain word by bolding it, underlining it or writing it in italics, certain individuals do this by putting quotation marks around them. And that’s wrong. Because most other people know that using inverted commas this way opens up the door to hidden meanings, sarcasm, and moral judgments.

But quotation marks aren’t the only abused part of punctuation. Commas have it hard, too, you guys. In fact, they get so upset when they get ignored that they completely change the meanings of some sentences out of revenge.

Look at the sentence “Let’s go get a little Italian, baby,” courtesy of Your Dictionary. It’s clear that the speaker’s suggesting to their partner that they should go out for Italian food. But! Remove the comma and the sentence changes! Now, the speaker’s suggesting to their partner that they go find a small child from Italy. Whoops!

#13

Don't Know How I Feel About This "Plastic Surgeon"

Don't Know How I Feel About This "Plastic Surgeon"

That_Pyrope Report

#14

I Don't Know If I Want To Visit This So-Called "Church" Of Yours

I Don't Know If I Want To Visit This So-Called "Church" Of Yours

chad78 Report

#15

Suspicious Quotes

Suspicious Quotes

fl1Xx0r Report

Dynein
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sounds like not wearing one and dying might be the preferable option...

View more comments

So remember, Pandas, write Fresh Fish instead of “Fresh” Fish and I Love That Dress, Sweetheart instead of I “Love” That Dress, Sweetheart. Unless you want to lose customers or get into an argument with your spouse, that is. And remember to put commas where they’re supposed to go.

#16

Sir This Is The "Police"

Sir This Is The "Police"

mikeissad Report

Aaron W
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The quotation marks should only be around one of those words. Doesn't matter which one.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

vagabondchinchilla Report

#18

"Sober"

"Sober"

outstream Report

Ruby
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm staying 'sober' all weekend.

View more comments
#20

I'd Rather Not Touch The 'Rock', Thanks

I'd Rather Not Touch The 'Rock', Thanks

HauntedFurniture Report

#22

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Pedro95 Report

Aaron W
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In this case the marks are actually used correctly.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Stop Mom! Free "Face Painting"

Stop Mom! Free "Face Painting"

CompuChip Report

#24

I Always Buy My "Candy" At My Local Bowling Alley

I Always Buy My "Candy" At My Local Bowling Alley

mobuco Report

#25

Uh, What Kinda Teacher Again?

Uh, What Kinda Teacher Again?

oldskewlphilosphy Report

#26

"Nothing" In Car

"Nothing" In Car

bobbysteel Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Of Course. I Mean, What Else Would You Even Put In There

Of Course. I Mean, What Else Would You Even Put In There

dj-milk-problems Report

I’m Foxxy and I know it 😉
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a shop that has bongs but sells them as “essential oil pourers” and another place advertises them as “vases”.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#28

Uhm?

Uhm?

houtaroo Report

#29

Yours? Hmm

Yours? Hmm

frostbyte5000 Report

#30

Hate It When You "Accidental" Salmon

Hate It When You "Accidental" Salmon

AGeary Report

#31

Mom, Are You Proud Or Not?

Mom, Are You Proud Or Not?

A_QueerGhost32 Report

#32

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

turbobex Report

Ellen Turner
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

21 feet tall? 21 deaths in Super Mario 64? 21 Kirby Plushies they sleep with?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#33

"If" You Catch My Drift

"If" You Catch My Drift

Bbop1999 Report

#34

It's Written On Police Cars

It's Written On Police Cars

nickbesick Report

#35

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

raymondromero Report

Firework
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is less about the quotation marks and more about what the sign says. Board-certified, specialised in various specialities.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#37

When Looking Up What McNuggets Are Made Of

When Looking Up What McNuggets Are Made Of

_pineapple_sauce_ Report

#38

Found This At A Secondhand

Found This At A Secondhand

hurtbytinybee Report

Lou Lopez
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What... is even happening with this thing?! It looks like it came from Engrish.com or something. My favorite part is the ominously bold font for "LAUGHTER."

View More Replies...
View more comments
#39

A What Now

A What Now

Mercsidian Report

Connie Martin
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Green" means whatever you want it to mean...

View more comments
#40

Just Seen In A Microsoft Presentation. Yeah, It Sure Is

Just Seen In A Microsoft Presentation. Yeah, It Sure Is

be4ou Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

According to a niece who has risen in the ranks, it's a great place to wok.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 43 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.