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Scare Quotes

noun; analogy
Quotation marks used to indicate doubt, emphasis, or some other special, non-standard usage.
 
Rather than typical quotation marks which are used to quote someone or cite certain sources, scare quotes are used to place doubt on a typically used word or phrase. Often, they are accidentally used on signs (e.g. “live” lobsters) and create a comically alarming situation.
Etymology : Analogy to “air quotes,” which is when someone mimes quotation marks with their fingers while speaking to indicate doubt or irony. “Scare quotes” are the written counterpart.
Source : “Why are there so many scare quotes in this article?” (Dad, ~September of 2020)
Last modified: 26 November 2020


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