your “quotes” are “scary”

Dear Vendors,

Please stop putting “words” in “quotes” in your “sales” emails.

They’re called Scare Quotes for a reason.  They, gramatically speaking and in this context, signify skepticism or unconventional usage.  Therefore, headlines like

This year’s conference is “going green”!


Reference and “Discovery”: Some facts to help your library decide

do not inspire confidence in your readers that you’re sincere about your efforts.  You are not effectively selling me your product, or your brand identity.

So, well, stoppit.




  1. I agree with Jeff. The scare quotes are there because they aren’t really doing it. I especially think it is true of some of these “Discovery” systems. Not really sure about the “going green” (although I’m “going green” today by wearing a green shirt).


  2. I think the “discovery” case was one in which the vendor thinks the concept of discovery is dumb. I think the “going green” case was one in which the organization was careless. In either case… I end up less impressed rather than more.


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