Quotation mark

In English writing, quotation marks or inverted commas, also known informally as quotes, talking marks, speech marks, quote marks, quotemarks or speechmarks, are punctuation marks placed on either side of a word or phrase in order to identify it as a quotation, direct speech or a literal title or name. They are also used to indicate that the meaning of the word or phrase they surround should be taken to be different from (or, at least, a modification of) that typically associated with it (e.g. in the sentence the elite, composed by people of mixed ancestry, embraced their "whiteness" – the quotation marks modify the word whiteness to pertain to European culture rather than the colour white); in this way, they are often used to express irony. They also sometimes appear to be used as a means of adding emphasis, although this usage is usually considered incorrect.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://grammarerror.com/tags/quotation-mark