Thanks to Donna, who writes, “Here is one of [my pet peeves]: Overuse of quotation marks, particularly in advertising copy. Such as ‘homemade’ pasta and pizza! Hmmmm. Is it not really homemade? Are they being sarcastic? Or is someone being quoted as once saying the pasta and pizza is ‘homemade’? I never get that.”
That’s a great one, and one of MRP’s pet peeves, too. A couple of examples:
Is someone — say Mr. Astro himself — saying that they can actually make the old floors new again? Or do they really mean, old floors made “new”? Why put any quotation marks there at all?
Again, did someone say, “Gentle to deep tissue massage therapy”? Who? If someone said it, are you more likely to believe it? Or are they saying the massage is sort of like “gentle to deep tissue massage”?
Bottom line: If it’s not a quotation, it doesn’t need quotation marks. As with excessive capitalization for the sake of emphasis: “just don’t do it!”