Unless your MySQL is configured to use ANSI_QUOTES in sql_mode, you are able to quote your text in one of two forms: using single quotes or double quotes:
UPDATE world.Country SET HeadOfState = 'Willy Wonka' WHERE Code='USA' UPDATE world.Country SET HeadOfState = "Willy Wonka" WHERE Code="USA"
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. - Oscar Wilde
You wish to insert this text to some tables. You could go through the trouble of escaping it:
INSERT INTO quotes (quote, author) VALUES ( 'It is what you read when you don\'t have to that determines what you will be when you can\'t help it.', 'Oscar Wilde');
or you could just wrap it in double quotes:
INSERT INTO quotes (quote, author) VALUES ( "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.", 'Oscar Wilde');
I find this useful when using SQL to generate queries. Take, for example, eval() for MySQL: the statement:
CALL eval('select concat(\'KILL \',id) from information_schema.processlist where user=\'webuser\'');
is just so more easily written this way:
CALL eval("select concat('KILL ',id) from information_schema.processlist where user='webuser'");
I don't suggest one should use this method throughout her application code. Application code works great with auto-escaping string literals. But for the handy DBA or developer, who needs to work some quick queries by hand, this makes for an easier syntax to use.