For example, when I see a letter from our parish that says this: There are many children registered for our program that have “nut allergies”. Because of this, we are asking that all parents send their children with “nut free” snacks.
....it makes me a bit stabby.
There is NO reason to put the words nut allergies in quotes. To do so (in my writer's mind) is to minimize the severity of said allergies. They aren't "nut allergies" or "food allergies" (just picture a smarmy person with a smug look on their face making air quotes when they say nut allergies or food allergies and maybe you can understand my ire).
No one says that someone has "cancer" or "diabetes" or "heart disease." So why do food allergies get relegated to something that is "not real" thanks to the addition of quotation marks?
And yes, I'm sure some of you out there think I'm overreacting but this really, seriously bugs me. A lot.
Why can't it just be written like this: There are many children registered for our program who have food allergies including peanuts and tree nuts. Because of this we are asking that all parents send their children with peanut and tree nut free snacks.
THAT would make it so much better and less annoying.
It's little things like the use of quotation marks around food allergies that - in my opinion - lead people to think that they aren't as serious as other diseases. With food allergies (as a whole) on the rise, it's about damn time people take them seriously and stop putting quotation marks around them.