Giving Words Meaning (or Taking It Away)

David Cassuto

So here’s a new linguistic turn: putting words in quotes to indicate uncertainty as to accuracy (as opposed to putting words in quotes to indicate irony or sarcasm).  Contrast, for example, It was a ‘good’ idea for California State Senator Roy Ashburn, a closeted gay man with a ferociously anti-gay agenda to drive drunk (and get arrested) after leaving a gay bar with a companion with:  “Bali Bombing Mastermind ‘Killed’ in Shootout.” The former conveys a sarcastic assessment of Senator Ashburn’s behavior.  The latter indicates that the man killed in Bali may or may not be the suspected terrorist sought.   Continue reading