Quotation mark to signal unusual usage of a word


When you use the quotation mark to signal unusual usage of a word, do you use the mark only the first time, or throughout an entire essay?

Edit: for example, I am using a noun in a different way than it is conventionally used to convey a meaning I find necessary for the essay. It is not a proper noun.
edited Nov 28 '13 at 01:01 Dillon New member

1 answer


The Chicago Manual of Style discourages the use -- or the overuse -- of "scare quotes" -- that's what they are called.


Scare quotes should only be used to signal an ironic or purposefully incorrect use of a word. (You should use italics to signal the use of uncommon words borrowed from other languages.)


Patty makes a good point ... and CMoS implies the same. Why would you repeatedly use a word ironically or incorrectly? Once has power ... but overuse causes the effect to be dilluted.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Nov 27 '13 at 17:13 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.