Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scare quotes: editorial reactions by a San Francisco newsman

Dear Sir,

I tried researching this a bit, your query about the origins and meaning of "scare quotes," as I have also vaguely wondered about it myself in the past, ot be honest. You are a lone voice out there asking
a good question.
Words and phrases are used all the time without people knowing their
precise origins and scare quotes just might another one of them but again, your
questions are worth thinking about, although I doubt most people could care at all.
Since I employed the phrase in my recent piece according to its ''universally accepted
meaning'', the way it has always been used, and since
there is no other meaning for it, you can't really call the term of scare quotes a
"misnomer" or a "wrong term." In any case, your interset in all this served to wake me up
just a bit but in the end I don't give a ''rat's ass'' about this at all. scare quotes mine.


Dan Mooring
San Francisco newspaper veteran

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