Quotation Marks and Irony? See "Scam" Example


When using quotation marks to mark a word with irony, is it better to use single or double quotation marks.  Which is more correct? 


  • He has passed the 'difficult' scam test. 
  • He has passed the "difficult" scam test. 


I've read different opinions, but what is the stance of Grammarly and their staff?

edited May 16 '11 at 21:21 Danny Hinckley New member

2 answers




In my experience, the double quotation marks are clearer when using them to express irony or sarcasm.  I use to single (' ') when I am quoting a word or short phrase from a text.


Both are correct, however, and which one you use is a matter of style.


If you are in a traditional setting, I suggest using the quotation marks for showing both irony and for quotations.


I hope this helps.



link comment answered May 16 '11 at 17:02 Kimberly Expert

I tend to use italics for mine, but now that I read this, I'm thinking that maybe I should use quotes. Maybe that is why my irony was never picked up on  :)


So, before I was doing something like:  He has passed the difficult scam test.  


Now that I think this through, if I were to actually say it allowed, I would probably do the double air quotes. So... I guess from here on out, I'll be using the double quotes for irony.  Thanks!!!

link answered May 16 '11 at 17:14 Brian Patterson New member

I always ask myself: would I use air quotes here? If the answer is yes, I opt for the quotation marks. Glad this helped! -- KimberlyMay 16 '11 at 17:16

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