I don’t know about you, but when I see punctuation misused it hurts a little part of my heart. Some mistakes are understandable. For example, it can be tricky using the semicolon appropriately. Correct em dash usage is somewhat ambiguous. But quotation marks? Its purpose is right in the name. They are used for quotations.
Somehow, this particular punctuation mark has transcended its original AP guidelines and has come to be used for any word that needs to be “emphasized.” Incorrect usage of the quotation mark has become so ridiculous that fellow grammar geeks have even started their own blogs documenting the absurdity of this new “trend.” Check out www.unnecessaryquotes.com for some crazy pictures of actual signs found by readers. What exactly does “built in” camera imply, anyway?
So please, unless you want to end up in a blog post humiliating your lack of common grammar knowledge, think before you “quote.”