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The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation Hardcover – July 14, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bethany Keeley is a college professor, blogger, and writer who lives in the Chicago, IL suburbs. She is also the founder and author of the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Frst Edition edition (July 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811876454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811876452
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jared Castle VINE VOICE on August 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Quotey fingers. Rabbit ears. Air quotes. The quotation gesture. Finger flexion. Do you cringe or laugh when someone flashes a pair of crooked fingers to emphasize their point?

Bethany Keeley collected a treasure of unnecessary quotation marks for fans of James Kilpatrick's Fine Print: Reflections on the Writing Art and William Zinsser's On Writing Well who crave a little whimsy.

Keeley takes the funniest finds from her blog and arranges them in a series of themes that maintains the laughs without becoming cruel. This is an important point. Grammarians too often act like elitists, pointing out mistakes not for a shared laugh but rather a means to belittle people who are only trying their best to wrestle with the English language and rules of grammar. Kelley deserves credit for not letting this book devolve into meanness.

In summary, I recommend this book, especially as a gift, for a wordsmith who enjoys a good laugh. Rating: four stars.
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By RJ on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been following the blog on which this book is based, and have even contributed to the site, so it was nice to see it come out in book form. The author's wit in commenting on the various signs, posters, etc. is quite keen and I enjoyed every page. Whether unnecessary quotation marks are a pet peeve of yours or not, you will enjoy the humor that accompanies the pictures. A great addition to the humor or language section of your library!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a word nerd. I mostly wanted to start out this review that way because it rhymes. However, it does help explain why the subject matter of this book appeals so much to me. There's just something about quotation marks, and their rampant misuse, that makes me laugh. The pictures throughout the book are excellent examples of well-meaning people trying and failing to communicate, but the real treat is the commentary provided by the author. Snark is doled out efficiently and with no malice. It never feels like we're laughing AT the writers of these signs and notices. More like we're laughing NEAR them, and hoping they'll see us laughing and decide to laugh along with us.

Well deserving of a place on your bookshelf or coffee table.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, so funny. Any intelligent, literate reader (with some sense of humor) is going to have a great time with this book. My friends who meet that criteria are getting this for Christmas.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not very long and easily finished in one sitting. But if you have a basic understanding of English grammar you'll laugh a little at the mistakes themselves but laugh a lot of the inspired literal interpretations.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This "book" is filled with 171 pages of signs and posters that simply make me "cringe." Were it not for the author's accompanying explanations and uses of the quotation marks, I'd have had to quit reading, after the first dozen pages. This is a very funny book, with dozens of contributors (listed at the end.) Bethany Keeley's witty sarcasm pulls it all together and allows the reader to laugh at an otherwise painfully sad blight to reading, writing, and "punctuation." If you're one of those people who silently corrects other people's grammar, you'll enjoy this book. If you're someone who loves to use unnecessary quotation marks, maybe you'll find some new uses to try!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
probably my fault for not extensively using the "peek" option on amazon and reading a lot of the pages but when i saw the cover page fresh brown "eggs" it made me laugh and i instantly thought of jimmy kimmels unnecessary censorship which is extremely funny. this however was mostly just a bunch of photographs of places or signs using unnecessary quotes (literally) not funny just not necessary. the funniest one in the book might be the cover page. so mostly a book that will get a couple smiles out of you but not really any laughs, just a heads up
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Format: Kindle Edition
There are several people in my family who send greetings card that say my name (or my husband's name) in quotation marks and it has always driven me crazy. My last birthday card said Happy Birthday "Olive!" My real name is truly Olive* but the quotation marks imply that it's not. It really reads more like Happy Birthday "Olive" (if that's your real name). So funny. This book also showcases another one of my major pet peeves which is adding an apostrophe when one isn't needed. As in "Fresh" egg's. It's is just eggs people. I promise. My favorite Christmas card this year was addressed to "Olive" and "Mark" on the inside of the card and the address on the envelope said The Johnson's. No, no, no. Just no on so many levels.

Now quotation marks do have a place. I just had a meeting with my boss yesterday and I said, "Well I heard that from your 'confidential' (using air quotes with my fingers) secretary." The air quotes mean your secretary that can't keep her mouth shut that's how I know that highly confidential information.

*OK my name isn't really Olive but dang I sure wish it was.
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