Blogroll Addition: The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

If you have ever noted the myriad grammatical faux pas visited upon the signage across the country, this blog is for you: the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks


Here is a prior post with a very unusual urinal sign.

yojoe out

One Of The Problems With The English Language: The Same Word Having Opposite Meanings

As observed in this VC post, contranyms should be avoided,

[T]he Court has sanctioned the use of speech as evidence in establishing that ….

Is that “sanctioned” in the sense of “approved” or in the sense of “punished” (a common use of the term “sanction” in litigation)? The reader should be able to figure this out from context, but it’s usually better not to put the reader to the work of having to do that, or risk even briefly leading the reader in the wrong direction.

A word I have always found vexing in the military context is “secure.”


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Best Phrase Of All Time: Déjà Vu All Over Again

Listening to Neil Cavuto on Fox News talking about the terror attack in Mumbai.  He has used, numerous times, the best phrase of all time, to wit,

“Its like déjà vu all over again.”

yojoe out

Yo: The New Gender-Neutral Pronoun

Official seal of City of BaltimoreAnybody who spends time writing is, at one time or another, vexed by the lack of a gender-neutral (should read sex-neutral) pronoun in the English language. Attempts have been made to overcome this problem either by avoiding indefinite pronouns, or by the use of his or her or his/her. Both of these fixes have drawbacks. Their was considered singular until the 18th century but has yet to make a resurgence, despite its pedigree. Because pronouns, in English, belong to a closed word class it has been very difficult to add any neologisms. Thus, we are without a workable resolution.

Then came Baltimore. The denizens of Crabtown have given us the new third-person singular pronoun yo. As in Yo handin’ out papers. Some of the spontaneous uses of yo cited in the paper:

Yo was tuckin’ in his shirt!
Yo threw a thumbtack at me.
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