Besides, there are plenty of people already doing this for me — many of them so bitter they can leave a taste in the mouth to rival my own egg foo yong.
"I'm tempted to carry around a camera with me all the time, if only to document the ridiculous grammar that people use on signs — signs that are ready [sic] by a great amount of people every day," wrote Mike, a blogger at Arsenic.net.
No, you're not seeing things. Mike wrote, "signs that are ready by a great amount of people" instead of "signs that are read." I frequently search the Internet for stuff like this and it's more common than not to find embarrassing typos in rants complaining about other people's typos. I suspect it's some primal instinct embedded deep in our brains that helps keep our snootiness in check and thereby saves us from strutting around like we own the jungle in front of a pack of hungry tigers. (Note: Please add to the above list of things I cannot do: Develop plausible theories of human evolution.)
Still, with a prompting by Dave in Burbank, it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, an egg foo yong chef or a sidewalk paver or a dry-cleaner or a dog groomer could read this column and benefit from a quick primer on quotation marks.
Quotation marks, the things around "hey" in this sentence, are usually used to signify the exact words someone spoke or wrote. Paris Hilton said, "A right triangle is the same as the area of the square whose sides equal to the hypotenuse: a2+b2=c2." Or was that Jessica Simpson? I can't remember.
You get the idea.
In newspapers, quotation marks are also used with things like movie titles and song titles — things for which books use italics but because newspaper printing systems traditionally lacked the ability to make italics, the quotation marks were used instead. I sang "The Star Spangled Banner."