Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Misplaced Quotation Mark

This has been appearing in the Singapore Ministry of Education’s latest series of recruitment ads.

Something is not quite right here: the quotation marks suggest that ‘Teaching As A Profession Seminar’ is a title. They also mislead the reader into thinking that profession somehow premodifies seminar, making her or him wonder, at least for a second or two, what on earth a profession seminar is.

The reason for all this confusion is the badly placed closing quotation mark, which should come before, not after, Seminar: ‘Teaching As A Profession’ Seminar.

Now we instantly see that this is a seminar whose title happens to be ‘Teaching As A Profession’.

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