One of my first experiences with superfluous quotation marks was as a young assistant professor at the University of Maryland. There was to be a post-seminar social, and the chairman sent around a notice announcing that “coffee” and “cookies” would be served. Were these faux comestibles, I wondered? Now I encounter superfluous quotation marks all the time, and of course there’s a website for these things: The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks. It’s a hoot.
Here’s my addition: the email I received from the company to which the Indian embassy outsources its visa program (a screenshot from my phone):
I wonder what “received” means when it’s in quotes! Are they pulling my leg?