Know when not to use quotation marks

Quotation marks are used in two different ways - to draw attention to words or phrases, or to attribute them to some other speaker or author. Do not overuse quotation marks for emphasis. Instead of using slang and colloquialisms within quotation marks, search for more exact terms and use more formal English.

In journals, quotation marks are often used around new technical terms, old terms used in an unusual way, or simply to draw attention to a word. (In books, italics are often preferred.) Used sparingly, these are acceptable when used to point out that the term is used in context for a unique or special purpose; in this way, they substitute for so-called.

Indirect quotations are paraphrases of a speaker's words or ideas. Do not enclose indirect quotations (usually introduced by that) in quotation marks.

Direct quotation: Albert Einstein said, "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

Indirect quotation: Jim Samuels said that he saw the sequel to the movie Clones, and it was the same movie!

Common nicknames, bits of humor, technical terms, and trite or well-known expressions (if they must appear) can stand on their own without quotation marks. Proverbial, biblical, and well-known literary expressions do not need quotation marks. Commonly known facts available in numerous sources need neither a source citation nor quotation marks unless the material is taken word-for-word from one particular source.

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