Should "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Anniversary" written on a cake or card be in quotations or is both with or without correct?

  • Hi Tracie, welcome to EL&U. Why would you put the expressions in quotation marks? Do you intend them as scare quotes? Strictly speaking it's unnecessary, but it's only incorrect if you use them in a way that the intended recipient or audience would find strange or confusing. If it's what your friends/family/workplace expect, I don't think the Cake Police will prosecute, and professional greeting card writers would ... um ... [looks up oxymoron]. PS don't forget to take the EL&U Tour :-) Jan 8, 2019 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


The short answer is No, it is more common to NOT use quotation marks for these two expressions.

Quotation marks would only used for Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary if you were quoting someone saying those things or if you were making a statement about those expressions. Nowhere in this list of quotations rules does it say, common expressions must be marked with quotations.

  • 1
    As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Happy Birthday"!
    – Juhasz
    Jan 8, 2019 at 21:47

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