Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Oct 24, 2017
This week’s theme
Coined words

This week’s words
mimsy
scare quote
proxemics
muppet
bafflegab

scare quote
Columbus, “Discoverer of America”

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

scare quote

PRONUNCIATION:
(SKAIR kwoht)

MEANING:
noun: The quotation marks used to indicate that the quoted word or phrase is incorrect, nonstandard, or ironic.

ETYMOLOGY:
Coined by the philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe in 1956. The equivalent term in spoken communication is air quotes.

NOTES:
Scare quotes are used to indicate the writer’s disagreement or disapproval of the use of the term.
Example: Some consider Trump to be the “greatest” president ever.

USAGE:
“Caspar always thought of his ‘time machine’ thus, with scare quotes around it, since it was not really a machine, and Caspar did not believe in time.”
Gardner Dozois; The Year’s Best Science Fiction; St. Martin’s Press; 1990.

See more usage examples of scare quote in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. -Brenda Ueland, journalist, editor, and writer (24 Oct 1891-1985)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith