Sometimes people like to make "quotation marks" in the air when using words in other than the normal way. Indeed, the Sanchon Hunjang has known people who do this every other sentence and it gets annoying quickly.
The Hunjang was on a bus today and noticed that somebody at the bus company has caught this disease:
Um...let me get this right...so I'm supposed to "yield" my seat to the "old and weak"? Using the irony cued by the 따옴표, I take that to mean, "when you encounter people who are pretending to be old or frail in order to score a seat on the crowded bus, pretend to yield your seat to them." 아싸! That means I'm going to be sitting down the whole way home!
Unfortunately, it seems that those little smileys and things
aren't the only differences in the use of punctuation marks in Korea. They also use a semi-colon to set off list titles (like date, time, place),where a colon would work in English.
And these quotation marks are supposed to indicate emphasis, like italics in English. I used to try and use italics in Korean for emphasis at work. My superiors really hate the 기울어진 글자, instead preferring bold or quote mark 처리. Who knew...?