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    • Join Date: Sep 2005
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    #1

    Quotes for a Name

    Is the following sentence correct?
    I chose Mary as my confirmation name because that was my mother's name.
    OR should it have Mary in quotes?
    I chose "Mary" as my confirmation name because that was my mother's name.
    Thank you.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: Quotes for a Name

    Welcome, BreezyGal.

    It doesn't matter.
    Quotation marks are used for emphasis.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #3

    Re: Quotes for a Name

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quotation marks are used for emphasis.
    I'm afraid I have to disagree here; for pure emphasis you should use italics, bold type, underlining or, as a last resort, CAPITAL LETTERS.

    Here, the quotation marks can be used to indicate that the word is not being used in its normal way (there are other uses as well). Here, it would indicate that "Mary" is not meant to refer to a person -- as it would normally -- but that we are referring to the name itself as a word. In this case, the sentence is easy to understand correctly without the quotation marks, so they're not really needed -- but you can still use them if you want.

    Sometimes it's not so clear. Compare these two sentences:

    I know that is a word.
    I know "that" is a word.

    The quotation marks don't emphase anything; they indicate that we not using the word "that" in the usual way.

    Here's what can happen if you use quotes for emphasis:

    All our beer is "cold".

    Here, the quotes mean: "Our beer may be cold, but only if you use a different definition of the word. In fact, we serve it at room temperature, but that's still cold compared to, say, the surface of the sun." It indicates irony or sarcasm, and makes the sentence mean the opposite of what it's supposed to mean.

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