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
10 months ago

"Spice up" any Facebook comment with random quotation marks

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#2

Oh No, Timmy

Oh No, Timmy

pancakegalaxy Report

Mooncut
Community Member
10 months ago

That kid has seen some scarring things

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#3

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

docju Report

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

Gotta supplement that barista income somehow.

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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

Aaron W
Community Member
10 months ago

There is no act IV.

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#5

A "Loving Tribute"

A "Loving Tribute"

JeremyTheMVP Report

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

That went south

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#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
10 months ago

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

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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

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

We will "pay" You, You will get "promoted"

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#8

Suspicious Church

Suspicious Church

BIGJake111 Report

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
10 months ago

That is a terrifying threat, to be fair.

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#9

That Is Unsettling

That Is Unsettling

TikiTakaTimbuktu Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
10 months ago

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

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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

Aaron W
Community Member
10 months ago

That's no way to treat your customers....

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#11

So Many Questions

So Many Questions

kcripe Report

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

Is this real'?

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#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
10 months ago (edited)

So what was in the envelope??? 👀👀👀👀

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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

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

As opposed to imaginary?

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#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

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

Perfect for "officer" Sandusky

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#15

Suspicious Quotes

Suspicious Quotes

fl1Xx0r Report

Dynein
Community Member
10 months ago

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

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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
10 months ago

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

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#17

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

vagabondchinchilla Report

Aaron W
Community Member
10 months ago

Beware of the person who wrote that sign....

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#18

"Sober"

"Sober"

outstream Report

Ruby
Community Member
10 months ago

I'm staying 'sober' all weekend.

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#19

"Befriended"

"Befriended"

kunonaa Report

Thomas Price
Community Member
10 months ago

Not misused at all

LuckyL
Community Member
10 months ago

yep, that's exactly what he what's to say

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mummy pig
Community Member
10 months ago

Even the skull is winking:D

The Shadow
Community Member
10 months ago

His name is Sans you uncultured swine.

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Kjorn
Community Member
10 months ago

i befriend her all night long

Alexander Brior
Community Member
10 months ago

Little white... “friendliness pellets”.

Roger Haywood
Community Member
10 months ago

I gave her a damned good "befriending" ;)

mr toto
Community Member
10 months ago

Stiffler's mum

Whiterain25 furry
Community Member
10 months ago

bruh what is the context

meme lord
Community Member
10 months ago

SANS YOU MOTHER-

Audrey Davis _ Student - BuggES
Community Member
7 months ago

SANS HOW COULD YOU!?

Aria
Community Member
10 months ago

I NEEDED AN UNDERTALE/DELTA RUNE REFERENCE, THANK YOU!

Sarah Ngakaari Hammond
Community Member
10 months ago

I need to play this game called Deltarune lol.

Signe Manat Hansen
Community Member
10 months ago

Start with Undertale :)

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ALAYNA BUCKLEY
Community Member
10 months ago

Okay that one was totally on purpose lmaoo

Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
10 months ago

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Surftailwarrior
Community Member
10 months ago

Ah Deltarune.

hunger games
Community Member
10 months ago

the skull winking is just to funny

Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
8 months ago

skeleton*

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LoL.alpaca
Community Member
10 months ago

maybe it would make more sense if we actually played the game

Sinead O
Community Member
10 months ago

Yeah, this one knows just what it's doing....

Ice cube
Community Member
10 months ago

oh crap

Allyssa Kline
Community Member
3 weeks ago

walk away kris, walk away

Boop
Community Member
6 months ago

Oh sans, oh SANS.

Ace
Community Member
7 months ago

For me, I say F*** NO to Soriel, no matter the AU

Jellybear
Community Member
8 months ago

I really hope this isn't in the game...

Lukyan Terdal
Community Member
9 months ago

Hey, kid. Knowing how to use quotation marks is important.

EeveeCatStudios YT
Community Member
10 months ago

SANS? WHY? WHY SANS?

EeveeCatStudios YT
Community Member
10 months ago

Why sans? Why?

Sera the Dragon
Community Member
10 months ago

Asriel, from college: EXCUSE ME WHAT THE HECK

Signe Manat Hansen
Community Member
10 months ago

Sans the skeleton knows what he's saying.

Sue Sanders
Community Member
10 months ago

You creep - my mom doesn't even understand computers.

Pamela
Community Member
10 months ago

One that finally fits!

🐼NaeNae🐼
Community Member
10 months ago

That wink tho

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#20

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

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

HauntedFurniture Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
10 months ago

I don't want to know what they mean with the 'cave'.

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#21

I Also "Love" My Job

I Also "Love" My Job

TheJarOfJam Report

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

Don't we all?

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#22

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Pedro95 Report

Aaron W
Community Member
10 months ago

In this case the marks are actually used correctly.

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#23

Stop Mom! Free "Face Painting"

Stop Mom! Free "Face Painting"

CompuChip Report

St. John
Community Member
10 months ago

For mom, not for children...

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#24

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

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

mobuco Report

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

That sign needs to be on an unmarked van.

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#25

Uh, What Kinda Teacher Again?

Uh, What Kinda Teacher Again?

oldskewlphilosphy Report

Kjorn
Community Member
10 months ago

this one time at band camp...

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#26

"Nothing" In Car

"Nothing" In Car

bobbysteel Report

Yugan Talovich
Community Member
10 months ago

That's what a lot of people tell police officers.

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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
10 months ago

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

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#28

Uhm?

Uhm?

houtaroo Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
10 months ago

Well, that is reassuring. At least the doctor can see.

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#29

Yours? Hmm

Yours? Hmm

frostbyte5000 Report

Lucy O'Farrell
Community Member
10 months ago

The censorship makes it doubly suspicious 😂

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#30

Hate It When You "Accidental" Salmon

Hate It When You "Accidental" Salmon

AGeary Report

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

What was the original dish supposed to be?

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#31

Mom, Are You Proud Or Not?

Mom, Are You Proud Or Not?

A_QueerGhost32 Report

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

At least she came

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#32

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

turbobex Report

Ellen Turner
Community Member
10 months ago

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

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#33

"If" You Catch My Drift

"If" You Catch My Drift

Bbop1999 Report

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
10 months ago

Please don't hide, share!

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#34

It's Written On Police Cars

It's Written On Police Cars

nickbesick Report

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

In comic sans, no less.

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#35

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

raymondromero Report

Firework
Community Member
10 months ago

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

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#36

Mechanic Wanted

Mechanic Wanted

ItsBohanJones Report

Lucy O'Farrell
Community Member
10 months ago

Oh dear

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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

Firework
Community Member
10 months ago

those pictures make me want to vomit

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#38

Found This At A Secondhand

Found This At A Secondhand

hurtbytinybee Report

Lou Lopez
Community Member
10 months ago

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."

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#39

A What Now

A What Now

Mercsidian Report

Connie Martin
Community Member
10 months ago

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

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#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
10 months ago

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

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