from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A quotation mark deliberately used to provoke a reaction or to indicate that the author does not approve of the term, rather than to identify a direct quotation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the use of quotation marks to indicate that it is not the authors preferred terminology


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  • The last question, danbloom, is when's your assignment due?

    June 27, 2012

  • the main questions are now WHO coined the term Scare Quote and WHEN and why the word SCARE there? and are all scare quotes really scare quotes?

    June 27, 2012

  • could you do a new blog post one day SOON, and ask readers these 4 short questions:
    1. Who coined the term “scare quotes”? and when , what year, and where, and why the word SCARE?
    2. does everyone know what the term means? is it often used in OZ media? A friend there told me she never heard of it before and that it is not used in Australia as far as she knows.
    3. sicne the term SCARE QUOTES is a bit SCARY, and has no real meaning, in terms of firght, or scare, might tehre be a better more inclusive term to use for this kind of thing, like “air quotes” or call out quotes or quote unquote quotes? or any other suggestioons for a better term since SCARE QUOTEs jsut does not cut it?
    4. i forgot the last qestuion

    June 27, 2012