Why do people choose to put so many things in quotation marks? I suspect that they believe wrapping a word or phrase in quotes somehow makes it more prominent or important, but it actually has the opposite effect.

You see, when you put quote marks around a word, it implies that you’re really not telling the truth. Saying that a bracelet has “real” diamonds or real “diamonds” is a warning that you’re about to buy cubic zirconia. That restaurant with “homestyle” cooking probably dumps everything out of cans. Telling someone that he’s a “great” guy implies that you’d rather not be around him.

Look, you don’t need the quotes. Period. And putting them around your words and slogans suggests that you’re not being entirely honest, so it’s actually hurting your messages. If I can convince just one individual or company to forego their use of quotes, my life will have been a success.