A friend recently got a tweet from an interested chap in which he used quotation marks in a way she, as an editor, did not approve of. I was put in mind of this poem from my book Songs of Love and Grammar:
I’m getting letters from my dear,
but I’m not sure that she’s sincere.
I see the way she ends her notes:
the phrase “I love you” is in quotes.
I really don’t know what to do,
for if she’s quoting, quoting who?
Although I know it seems absurd,
her every gift is but a word:
I send you “hugs”, I send you “kisses” –
That’s it? Some kind of present this is!
She writes, I “miss” you, and I see
the missing is mere irony!
Well, I think I know what to do:
I’m writing her, I “miss” you too.
My “love” is such, if you were here,
you’d get “a diamond ring”, my dear.
My “life” shall be at your disposal –
I wait for “yes” to my “proposal”.
She sends mere quotes? I send her same!
She’ll know that two can play this game!
If you enjoyed that, there are five dozen more in Songs of Love and Grammar, available for just $12 on lulu.com and amazon.com.