I think ^(link) therefore I err

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Scare Quotes at the BBC

They are running rampant today with these (') little things. People need lessons in how to use scare quotes:
scare quote
n.
Either of a pair of quotation marks used to emphasize a word or phrase or to indicate its special status, especially to express doubt about its validity or to criticize its use.
The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright Ā©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

So let's see,
At the BBC today we have this title:
Ugandan rebel 'terror' appals UN This title is used for a story that includes the following quote from the UN:
The activities of rebels in northern Uganda are "terrorism of the worst kind anywhere in the world", UN humanitarian affairs chief Jan Egeland has said.
or this one
"I just met a women's group where all of the women had had their children abducted, Most of them had never heard back from them."

Um 'Terror'???? Can't it be called Terror?
Then there is:
'Ill' Zambian Leader Flies to UK

You click on the article and get this title:
Zambia leader seeks UK 'check-up'
So I'm thinking the guy is faking an illness to get to the UK and get out of Dodge. But no, nothing in this article supports that. ??
How about
Freed US journalist 'manipulated'
or
'Corrupt' Argentine Police Purged


I wonder if April 2nd is their April Fools day over there.