Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, NPR Ombudsman:
I always thought that to describe something as "so-called," was to imply it was illegitimate... that there was something "Orwellian" about it, such as referring to U.S. military efforts in Vietnam as a "so-called" pacification program. has the following usage note:
Quotation marks are not used to set off descriptions that follow expressions such as so-called and self-styled, which themselves relieve the writer of responsibility for the attribution: his so-called foolproof method (not “foolproof method”).
So, as an unreformed pedant, I will probably be dropping the quotation marks some time next month.

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