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BBC and Quotation Marks

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BBC and Quotation Marks

Postby Slava » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:54 am

Here in the US, quotation marks that aren't around actual quotations are often called "scare quotes." Does anyone out there know what the Beeb means when it uses them?

Take, for instance, this:
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders agree a truce to try to end the "bloodshed" of the last two days.

Some twenty-five people died. Doesn't that count as bloodshed? The way I read this sentence is that the fact of bloodshed is being questioned. Is there a BBC usage of quotation marks I don't recognize?

I'm asking about the BBC specifically because I also read some other UK sites, and they don't use "" this way.
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Re: BBC and Quotation Marks

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:13 am

I found this
"Quotation or double speech marks/inverted commas
"1.Used to show spoken words.
"2.Used around odd or unusual terms, jargon or slang.
"3.Used around titles when italics are unavailable"

here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/engli ... evision/5/

I infer the writer considered usage 1. or 2. to apply to "bloodshed." If 1., used by whom? Shouldn't we have an attribution somewhere near at hand? If 2. shouldn't the writer find a more appropriate term?
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Re: BBC and Quotation Marks

Postby Slava » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:31 am

I agree 100%. Not one of the proposed usages fits, so why are the "" there?
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Re: BBC and Quotation Marks

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:16 pm

Perhaps it is the equivalent of "alleged."News sources these days tend to sprinkle their articles especially when referring to a criminal act, as in the alleged shooter, or the alleged thief. Apparently they would rather cover themselves than to make a forceful statement.
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