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
1 year ago

"Spice up" any Facebook comment with random quotation marks

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#2

Oh No, Timmy

Oh No, Timmy

pancakegalaxy Report

Yugan Talovich
Community Member
1 year ago

You wanna play "football," Timmy?

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#3

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

Starbucks Is Offering Everything These Days

docju Report

Full Name
Community Member
1 year 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

Rowlie
Community Member
1 year ago

This is not only a spoiler alert

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#5

A "Loving Tribute"

A "Loving Tribute"

JeremyTheMVP Report

Rowlie
Community Member
1 year 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

Panda Kicki
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

They probably actually get customers with "allergies".. "No, I am allegic to xx but I will just have it for dessert" After staff prepper all food at a separate table.

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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

Gin
Community Member
1 year ago

And it's Comic Sans

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#8

Suspicious Church

Suspicious Church

BIGJake111 Report

Clinton Yew
Community Member
1 year ago

So if I don't park there they will "baptized" me?

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#9

That Is Unsettling

That Is Unsettling

TikiTakaTimbuktu Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year 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

Rowlie
Community Member
1 year ago

Only for kids with bad grades maybe?

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#11

So Many Questions

So Many Questions

kcripe Report

Full Name
Community Member
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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

Diane Brock
Community Member
1 year ago

This made me LOL, literally! "Literally?" ...

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#15

Suspicious Quotes

Suspicious Quotes

fl1Xx0r Report

Dynein
Community Member
1 year 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
1 year ago

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

A human i guess
Community Member
1 year ago

“Professional” Law Enforcement Professional “Law” Enforcement Professional Law “Enforement”

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Jon S.
Community Member
1 year ago

I feel like the dude in the picture is trying to give us a hidden message. There is some esoteric link between his palm and the one offering psychic readings.

Laly Lynch
Community Member
1 year ago

Is that cop getting a psychic reading while "on duty"?

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 year ago

Once it's a whole phrase it begins to look like a quote, though, which is an acceptable use of quotation marks. Like they were reviewed by Huffington Post or something.

Claire Talltree
Community Member
1 year ago

I'd like to see the "unprofessional law enforcement" instead...

N S
Community Member
1 year ago

Well, US cops' shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality is truly "deserving" of quotation marks.

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Professional Law Enforcement is arresting an armed robber without any shots fired. "Professional Law Enforcement" is shooting an unarmed woman who reported a crime.

Amber Turk
Community Member
4 months ago

All police cars in California should have this written on them. Also, our speed limit signs should be SPEED LIMIT "65"....our stop sign should say "STOP".

Wei Lee
Community Member
4 months ago

This sounds like a "Sting"

Bettye McKee
Community Member
1 year ago

People don't know how to use quote marks, apostrophes, or semicolons, but it would be to their advantage to refresh their memory. The information is available to all, just Google it, but the problem is that they just don't care.

1k Phew
Community Member
1 year ago

Isn't it supposed to be "GMC" in the back next to AT&T?

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 year ago

Professional !!!

Evelyn Stewart
Community Member
1 year ago

Ha

Sue Sanders
Community Member
1 year ago

If "professional law enforcement" is a joke, okay then. OthIt'serwise, let it go and save a bit of paint. (It's not nice to snicker at your local police.)

Edwin Quantrall
Community Member
1 year ago

"Professional" "Law" "Enforcement" Pick two.

A Water Bottle
Community Member
1 year ago

“Enforcement”

alwaysMispelled
Community Member
1 year ago

As opposed to the OTHER Police "Just-For-Fun Law Enforcement"

Melanie Peapell
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm pretty sure that's City of Miami PD. Hilarious.

Andrew Yarke
Community Member
1 year ago

I would hope their professional law enforcement.

Alice Laughs
Community Member
1 year ago

Suddenly I want police to be "prolawe." Get it?

Toujin C'Thlu
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment has been deleted.

Susan Gardner
Community Member
1 year ago

Quotation marks are way over rated

Rowlie
Community Member
1 year ago

Said no one, ever

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#17

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

Should I Doubt The Safety Of My Holidays?

vagabondchinchilla Report

Rowlie
Community Member
1 year ago

Your family of four may become family of three- they warned You

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#18

"Sober"

"Sober"

outstream Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

"Sober" as in I manage to stay just below the legal limit for drunk driving.

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#19

"Befriended"

"Befriended"

kunonaa Report

mummy pig
Community Member
1 year ago

Even the skull is winking:D

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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
1 year 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
1 year ago

Don't we all?

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#22

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Pedro95 Report

Aaron W
Community Member
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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

Lipp
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

looking for a Xylophone player

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#26

"Nothing" In Car

"Nothing" In Car

bobbysteel Report

Cordelia
Community Member
1 year ago

Noting means something

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#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

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 year ago

sure...

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#28

Uhm?

Uhm?

houtaroo Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago

At least she came

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#32

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

Yes, Officer, I'm "21"

turbobex Report

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
1 year ago

So forget you if you are 22

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#33

"If" You Catch My Drift

"If" You Catch My Drift

Bbop1999 Report

Aaron W
Community Member
1 year ago

wink, wink.

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#34

It's Written On Police Cars

It's Written On Police Cars

nickbesick Report

Full Name
Community Member
1 year ago

In comic sans, no less.

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#35

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

"Specialized In Various Specialties"

raymondromero Report

Full Name
Community Member
1 year ago

Internal? I like this guy. I'm so sick of all that external medicine I've been getting.

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#36

Mechanic Wanted

Mechanic Wanted

ItsBohanJones Report

Lucy O'Farrell
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh dear

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#37

When Looking Up What McNuggets Are Made Of

When Looking Up What McNuggets Are Made Of

_pineapple_sauce_ Report

Cordelia
Community Member
1 year ago

Looks like old oatmeal mixed with tuna with a side of strawberry ice cream...

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#38

Found This At A Secondhand

Found This At A Secondhand

hurtbytinybee Report

Lou Lopez
Community Member
1 year 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

Roger Haywood
Community Member
1 year ago

Meaning the colour of the pick-up.

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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
1 year 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.