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Tag: word usage

So-called ‘writers’ misuse ‘so-called’

Because it actually has two quite different meanings, one of them loaded, the phrase ‘so-called’ is particularly tricky to use in news copy, where we’re supposed to be neutral. Most people know without thinking about it that ‘so-called’ has two meanings. Both are a spoken way to signal quotation marks. But the first signals jargon the listener may not be familiar with, or sometimes an imposed nickname, as in this example. Republican Stacey Campfield is the sponsor of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill–it’s the same measure he unsuccessfully pushed for six years as a member of the state House. The second meaning is the...