Crowing with quotation marks

This headline is too obvious for my taste, but I’ll give the headline writer credit: The reference to “big bucks” works two ways. It refers to lots of money and to large male deer.

When you use wordplay, though, you want your readers to do some of the work. Putting quotation marks around a pun is like tacking on a sign that says, “Aren’t I cute?”

Nobody likes a showoff.

Quotation marks, like other types of punctuation, provide signals to your readers. You want those signals to clear the way to comprehension, not slap people in the face, confuse them or make them groan.

If you need more persuading, take a look at the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.

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