Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tom's view on Scare Quotes

Dear Sir

I spent some time thinking today about your charming request and thought you just eccentric

enough to want to look into the origins of the scare quote term. I doubt anyone else in America
cares one bit about this. Why do you care?
For what it is worth, perhaps your search for the true meaning and origins of the scare quotes term is not a worthy endeavor for someone based in Taiwan who has "no internet access" to attempt a web research project on an etymological question.

If I ever see an Op Ed about scare quotes in the New York Times, as you propose for someone
to write, perhaps Ben Zimmer or Geoff Pullum,  I will eat my hat.

- Tom

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