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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

There is no act IV.

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#5

A "Loving Tribute"

A "Loving Tribute"

JeremyTheMVP Report

Rowlie
Community Member
5 months ago

That went south

Yugan Talovich
Community Member
5 months ago

Beat me to it! Take my upvote.

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Lingon
Community Member
5 months ago

They could have a twisted sense of humour, asking for the quotation marks just to make people wonder.

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
5 months ago

I hope you are right. I like a twisted sense of humor.

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MadDawg
Community Member
5 months ago

RIP Jen and Ted, who will always be "lovingly" remembered.

Soupcat
Community Member
5 months ago

For some reason i pictured Jen and Ted asking a "friend" to do something nice for them if they died first. Strong move with the wooden rail memorial.

ELIZABETH A HIGBIE
Community Member
5 months ago

Yeah, yeah, YEAH!!! Everyone is “Nice” once they’re “Gone”! 🤣

Donna Reynolds
Community Member
5 months ago

Bless their souls.

Tim Ess
Community Member
3 months ago

*lifes

Kathy Baylis
Community Member
5 months ago

Well, we don’t know Ted and Jen. This could be intentional.

Layla Corman
Community Member
5 months ago

That is a definite burn! Ouch!

Connie Martin
Community Member
5 months ago

This is so sad. Just disrespects them, which I'm sure wasn't the intent.

dukethedog
Community Member
5 months ago

oof

Felicia Dale
Community Member
5 months ago

"Two of life is..."

EeveeCatStudios YT
Community Member
5 months ago

Well😅

1k Phew
Community Member
5 months ago

This shows how "nice" they were!

Somyojit Nath
Community Member
5 months ago

"Loving" Memory

Endishere
Community Member
5 months ago

Shouldn't it be "lives" instead of "life's"? upsss

Sue Sanders
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't know what to say . . . . "

Imma Letchoofinish
Community Member
5 months ago

Jed and Ted were jerks

Kristen Callahan
Community Member
5 months ago

This seems very Minnesotan.

Ruby
Community Member
5 months ago

Well, maybe it's 'nice' the way my 12 year old says it. (:

ShireenAin'tWoke
Community Member
5 months ago

"nicest" people...

Lucy O'Farrell
Community Member
5 months ago

😂

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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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

Perfect for "officer" Sandusky

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#15

Suspicious Quotes

Suspicious Quotes

fl1Xx0r Report

Dynein
Community Member
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

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

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#18

"Sober"

"Sober"

outstream Report

Ruby
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm staying 'sober' all weekend.

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#19

"Befriended"

"Befriended"

kunonaa Report

Thomas Price
Community Member
5 months ago

Not misused at all

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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
5 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
5 months ago

Don't we all?

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#22

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Rightfully Suspicious Quotes

Pedro95 Report

Aaron W
Community Member
5 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
5 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
5 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

Roald Andresen
Community Member
5 months ago

Is this from Grindr?

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#26

"Nothing" In Car

"Nothing" In Car

bobbysteel Report

Yugan Talovich
Community Member
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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

Roald Andresen
Community Member
5 months ago

...we spray paint anything green!

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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
5 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.