Sunday, December 9, 2007

Public Punctuation Mistake

A week or so ago I was walking into a thrift store and noticed this sign on their door: "No" public restroom. I'm not a particularly brilliant grammarian, but I commented to my companion on the strange use of quotation marks. Once inside the store I saw this sign: No "public" restroom. The inconsistency tickled me, but also caused me to ponder at their use of quotation marks at all. What do you think they were indicating? (As an aside, the obvious misuse of quotation marks made me think of a Friends episode where Joey is taught what quotation marks mean and how they are used, which of course he promptly misused.)


jeremy said...

How about No Public "REST" room....Isn't resting part of going in the first place?

Andrew said...

It doesn't make much sense to me, especially the inconsistent use thereof, but it does seem that they - along with many other people - use quotation marks for "emphasis." Why they don't use ALL CAPS isn't clear. But then, there are lots of non-expert grammarians (including me :}

Alaina said...

I cannot figure this out. Why would anyone even think of putting quotations in and how do the other employees look at it and not think it looks weird. :)

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