Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The BBC and 'scare quotes'

The BBC has a way with words. Not so much using the words themselves, but by setting them apart with single quote marks. Like 'this'. As if the thing called within the quotes is something they would never deign to say. Only a fool would call it that.

I was browsing Rantburg this morning and came upon the headline "'Bomb' found in Dutch boy's room"

Here's what I wrote as a comment:
Love Auntie Beeb's scare quotes: 'Bomb'

The office said in a statement that the device consisted of a tube filled with gun powder, small bullets and a detonation mechanism.

Okay, I give up. What is that? What would be a better, BBC-approved word for that? 'Amusement'? If it had been found outside of the Beeb's bureau, something tells me they would recognize it as a device intended to destroy their property and kill as many people standing nearby as possible.

But I'm still having a hard time coming up with the right word for that. Any help?

The comments are trickling in after. I especially like dot-com's answer to my query.

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