Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UPDATE: "Quote-unquote Quotes" [or] ''SCARE QUOTES'' ''SCARE'' THE ''HELL'' OUT OF ''ME'' !!!

UPDATE: let's call them ''QUOTE-UNQUOTE QUOTES'' to make the term clearer?

On the origins of the term "scare quote" as newsroom term:

AND SINCE the term SCARE QUOTE is a bit "scary" shall we say, perhaps
a better easier to grasp term might be better.

Recommendation: "a quote-unquote quote"

DOES ''ANYONE'' HAVE ANY ''IDEA'' WHO ''COINED'' THE ''scare quotes'' TERM ......''SCARE QUOTES''..... AND WHY AND WHEN?

QUESTION: can there be a single square quote? or must the term always be plural?

A LANGUAGE ''EXPERT'' AT STANFORD, [privacy for now but initials are AZ],  TELLS ME:

Dear Sir


The OED2 draft addition Sept. 2004 has it from 1956; the first two cites
are both from philosophers:


1956   Mind 65 3   The ‘scare-quotes’ [aka ‘quote-unquote quotes’] are mine; Aristotle is not
overtly discussing the expression ‘whichever happens’.


1960   P. T. Geach in M. Brand Nature of Human Action (1970) 119
Someone..might use ‘happy’, in scare-quotes [in 'quote-unquote quotes'] so to say, to mean ‘what
most people count happy, that is rich’.

(but that doesn't tell us who ''coined'' it -- and it could have been a
translation from another language, like ''German'', my ''friend'' at Stanford adds)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

FOUND ONLINE

''The expression "scare quotes" doesn't mean anyone is scared, nor trying to scare anyone, necessarily.

My own DIY folk etymology for the expression is that it parallels "scarecrow"; in the same way that a scarecrow's not a real person, a scare quote isn't a literal quotation.

But that is just a wild guess of mine for the origin of the expression.''

dan said...

SAYS AZ to me by email

in the photo above, that is not a SCARE QUOTE that is an "emphasis quote", used like underlining or italics or boldface.

Anonymous said...

The OED online has:

DRAFT ADDITIONS AUGUST 2004

scare, n.2

* scare quotes n. quotation marks used to foreground a particular word or phrase, esp. with the intention of disassociating the user from the expression or from some implied connotation it carries.

1956 Mind 65 3 The ‘*scare-quotes’ are mine; Aristotle is not overtly discussing the expression ‘whichever happens’. 1960 P. T. GEACH in M. Brand Nature of Human Action (1970) 119 Someone..might use ‘happy’, in scare-quotes so to say, to mean ‘what most people count happy, that is rich’. 2001 Isis 92 177/2 Magnetism, we are told, was a discipline at the crossroad of science and ‘pre-science’ (her scare quotes) at the end of the sixteenth century.

Anonymous said...

CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES Christian 'communism' (I use scare quotes since it is not really communism as we know it) is essentially and fundamentally different.
Communist manifesto: the abolition of man by Meenan, John-Paul / Catholic Insight
2) After all, the opportunities provided by such hands-on sessions and street-level interventions may be the only time for many people to actually try out these ideas and strategies (and perhaps even some new ones) in an actual city; they are a unique chance to move past exhibition to incarnation and the only way to make actual actions out of these "actions" (rarely have scare quotes seemed so apt).
Actions: What You Can Do With the City by Dube, Peter / C: International Contemporary Art
com did headline the word "marry" in scare quotes, but the blogosphere outcry forced the site to make a quick edit.
As Ellen goes, so goes the nation: when Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de ... by Kort, Michele / The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Anonymous said...

Truth, truths, "truth," and "truths" in the law.

Anonymous said...

Style guidelines
While frequent in political material, advertising and other potentially manipulative forms of writing, style guides generally recommend the avoidance of scare quotes in impartial works, such as in encyclopedia articles.
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), 15th edition acknowledges this type of use but cautions against overuse in section 7.58, "Quotation marks are often used to alert readers that a term is used in a nonstandard, ironic, or other special sense [...] They imply 'This is not my term' or 'This is not how the term is usually applied.' Like any such device, scare quotes lose their force and irritate readers if overused."

Anonymous said...

Two quotes from /Citizen Kane/ come to mind...

CANDIDATE KANE CAUGHT IN LOVE NEST WITH "SINGER"

He was trying to take the quotes off the "singer"

Anonymous said...

Hmm … scare quotes. Sounds a bit like scarecrow, doesn’t it? And what did the Scarecrow want more than anything else, Dorothy?

Anonymous said...

Esteemed Boudicca:

At last a correspondent after my own heart! The groveling helps, too. I respect your tactfully veiled suspicion over these uses of what the British charmingly refer to as inverted commas (as if someone tipped them over when reaching for the chips). Let me address each of your questions in turn.

Our story begins in Venice, 1501, when an enterprising printer named Aldus Manutius developed a slanted typeface so that he could fit more words on the page. Thus italics were born. Why, oh why, do we shun them so? Although you may see the unwashed, particularly journalists, use quotation marks to signal that words are being referred to as words – perhaps the Grub Street crowd fears litigious readers in neck braces from reading too much slanted type – the academic convention is to use this gift of Aldus for this purpose. Accordingly, we would cite the word desanguinate. Logophiles are fond of using quotation marks, however, to note the meanings of words, viz. desanguinate comes from a Latin verb meaning "to drain of blood." And there I’ve used italics again to provide emphasis.

Which takes us to your second question. Quotation marks used to emphasize a point, signal a novel term, or convey an ironic tone are termed "scare quotes" by those who traffic in punctuation. For example, an overeager job applicant may write that he considers himself a "team player" with a "can-do" attitude. My acerbic confreres who compile the Chicago Manual of Style note, "Like any such device, scare quotes lose their force and irritate readers if overused" (p. 293).

I fondly call to mind a sardonic graffiti artist who, seeing that some well-intentioned soul had used scare quotes on a sign indicating that there was to be "No" Smoking, proceeded to place them around every label in the room. As a result, the whole place smacked of irony. Entrances to the lavatories were now merely for "Men" and "Women" (questioning the socially constructed nature of gender, perhaps?). The safety device hanging on the wall was now a so-called "Fire Extinguisher," and the soft-drink machine sold beverages only purportedly made by "Pepsi."

Hmm … scare quotes. Sounds a bit like scarecrow, doesn’t it? And what did the Scarecrow want more than anything else, Dorothy?

Cutting to the quick,
The Merciless One

Anonymous said...

My Recent Posts I like the name air quotes for the now-ubiquitous practice of marking oral quotes with hand gestures.
Anybody know when this custom actually began? I certainly don't remember it from my youth.

flynn999 air quotes #7 [-]
Posts: 861
(05/19/03 04:22:41)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts think they're eighties yuppie stuff aldi

gregs(d) Re: air quotes #8 [-]
Posts: 1830
(05/19/03 05:27:14)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts Remove this ad Rex Murphy, arguably Canada's most ubquitous political and social pundit, will often use the little tag: "inverted commas," when he does the scare quote thing. He does it on air and in print. He's a pretty affected guy, but I wonder if he's borrowing what would be a standard Britishism.

For example, Rex will say something like: "The Minister of Finance has, inverted commas, gone postal over the stamp tax." Or somesuch.

I know that quotation marks are known over there as inverted commas, but do people use them in the way we would use "quote"?

Anonymous said...

What is scary about them? Since when have they been called "scare" quotes?

aldiboronti Re: Scare Quotes #1 [-]
Posts: 8497
(05/16/03 23:59:01)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts That's interesting, eeyore. I'd never come across the term before.

Ah, some good stuff on scare quotes here. No date, but plenty of background.

Joe Re: Scare Quotes #2 [-]
Posts: 325
(05/17/03 19:38:32)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts You asked, "so what is scary about them?" I gleaned from the article that their usage signifies the author's fear of being associated with a word or phrase, or the sense/context thereof. As if to say "These are not my words"

ElizaD Re: Scare Quotes #3 [-]
Posts: 5686
(05/18/03 11:24:11)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts Never heard the term but teachers were always telling us to stop trying to excuse slang by using quotation marks. Interesting article.

rrhersh Re: Scare Quotes #4 [-]
Posts: 526
(05/18/03 14:45:35)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts Remove this ad I don't find a date for the term, but for what it is worth I have used it for years, and consider it the standerd term for the phenomenon.

It is also in AH4, defined as "Either of a pair of quotation marks used to emphasize a word or phrase or to indicate its special status, especially to express doubt about its validity or to criticize its use."

Richard Hershberger

ozziemaland Re: Scare Quotes #5 [-]
Posts: 5545
(05/18/03 15:14:25)
ReplyQuoteMore
My Recent Posts The alt-English Usage Newsgroup has a thread on the topic, the origin of scare quotes about 37 posts. See:

gooja

The most substantive post cross-referenced the following:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9711/preposterism.html

[excerpt]
Skeptical Inquirer magazine : November/December 1997
Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism

Anonymous said...

The OED online has:

DRAFT ADDITIONS AUGUST 2004

scare, n.2

* scare quotes n. quotation marks used to foreground a particular word or phrase, esp. with the intention of disassociating the user from the expression or from some implied connotation it carries.

1956 Mind 65 3 The ‘*scare-quotes’ are mine; Aristotle is not overtly discussing the expression ‘whichever happens’. 1960 P. T. GEACH in M. Brand Nature of Human Action (1970) 119 Someone..might use ‘happy’, in scare-quotes so to say, to mean ‘what most people count happy, that is rich’. 2001 Isis 92 177/2 Magnetism, we are told, was a discipline at the crossroad of science and ‘pre-science’ (her scare quotes) at the end of the sixteenth century.

Anonymous said...

Keevak’s ideal appears to be that of almost all politically-correct academics these days, a refusal to see physical differences among the mass of humanity as in any way significant. I, by contrast, positively relish these differences. I agree with Wilfred Thesiger, who once said, when accused of being racist, that he was the opposite, in that of all possible skin-colors he considered white to be aesthetically the least attractive. I agree, and, in this if nothing else, I’m an unrepentant old-fashioned “Orientalist” (scare-quotes notwithstanding).

Anonymous said...

What kind of book, then, is Becoming Yellow? It’s a tightly-focused look at a narrowly-defined topic, with the period of inquiry from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and representations of yellowness in novels and films specifically excluded. Scare-quotes abound — in one chapter alone I counted 107 instances of single words or two-word phrases placed in quotation marks. Why is this? In some cases they indicate a very short quotation, but it’s obviously most frequently because Keevak wants to distance himself from the racist expressions he so often encounters. It’s a distinguishing characteristic nonetheless, and could be seen to suggest that the author wants to hold at arms’ length whole swathes of past thought and reasoning that don’t accord with modern sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

Scare-quotes abound -------------— in one chapter alone I counted 107 instances of single words or two-word phrases placed in quotation marks. Why is this? In some cases they indicate a very short quotation, but it’s obviously most frequently because Keevak wants to distance himself from the racist expressions he so often encounters. It’s a distinguishing characteristic nonetheless, and could be seen to suggest that the author wants to hold at arms’ length whole swathes of past thought and reasoning that don’t accord with modern sensibilities.

Anonymous said...

I just found that sentence in the first footnote to William Taubman's "Khrushchev: The Man and his Era" (2003). It's a great example of a "negative event" - we call them "negative events" with scare quotes because it remains controversial whether there are any such things. How can not doing something be an event?

Anonymous said...

http://plogspot101.blogspot.tw/2012/06/on-origins-of-erm-scare-quote-as.html

Anonymous said...

When the Washington Times, the conservative newspaper founded and run by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, changed its top leadership recently, observers expected that more change would be coming. They weren't wrong -- with the replacement of executive editor Wes Pruden by John Solomon, who has extensive experience at more mainstream media outlets, we've already seen one small but meaningful change to the paper's coverage. The Times has altered several elements of its style guide, telling staffers to use more neutral terminology instead of the doctrinaire wording and scare quotes favored by the previous editorial regime. In an e-mail memo that has been widely circulated now, one editor wrote:

All:

Here are some recent updates to TWT style.

1) Clinton will be the headline word for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

2) Gay is approved for copy and preferred over homosexual, except in clinical references or references to sexual activity.

3) The quotation marks will come off gay marriage (preferred over homosexual marriage).

4) Moderate is approved, but centrist is still allowed.

5) We will use illegal immigrants, not illegal aliens.

Anonymous said...

Lower case with 'scare quotes' round the 'red'. Clarity with faint sniffy disapproval of the usage.

dan said...

http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/95/2012/6/22/15-16

LOL