Kevin Janison has got to be one of our happiest authors. He loves getting kids excited about reading and writing and they love his zany Deputy Dorkface, star character of his trilogy of children’s books. Presenting 100+ school assemblies a year, from the left coast to the Atlantic, he teaches the kids the process of writing, illustrating, and producing a book. Each DD book focuses on something the kids like — and the parents, too! After “deputizing” his audience, they head back to their classrooms or home, and armed with their new knowledge and enthusiasm, and begin writing their own fantastical stories. Kevin’s day job (well, technically, it is a night job) is predicting the weather. He’s a meteorologist for Channel 3 News here in Las Vegas. You might think Las Vegas weather would just be reporting hot, hotter, and blazing hot, but we really do have “weather” here. Sometimes it even snows! Check out the Deputy at here. If you’d like to request Kevin make a presentation to your child’s school, just get in touch at email@example.com.
You know, I’ve always heard them called scare quotes. Those words you put within quote marks in a sentence because you are using a word with irony or even that you mean the opposite of what you are saying. I recently read that Grammar Girl, the voice of all things proper in the grammar world, calls them sneer quotes. Love it! I never understood the term scare, but sneer works quite nicely, don’t you think? Here’s what she has to say:
Double Quotation Marks for Scare Quotes
Double quotation marks can also be used sometimes to indicate that a word is special in some way. I bet you’ve all seen quotation marks used as something called scare quotes, which are quotation marks put around a word to show that the writer doesn’t buy into the meaning. For example, I could write the sentence:
Women achieved “equality” when they were granted the right to vote in 1920.
That would indicate that although women getting the right to vote was heralded as equality at the time, I don’t think it was enough of a gain to merit the word equality. More often though, scare quotes (which are also sometimes called sneer quotes) are used to impart a sense of irony or disdain. They’re especially common in nasty political commentary, as in Politicians “care” about their constituents*.
You can read here entire post, full of helpful rules and tips on using quote marks here.
Grammar is “fun” stuff. Really!
One of my favorites events, year after year, is the opening kick-off reception for the Las Vegas Writers Conference. It is just so much FUN to hang out with literary-minded folks — writers, editors, agents, publishers — who love their craft and encourage each other. Their creative spirits and determined optimism inspire me.
My Working Titlez readers know that I’ve always recommended would-be authors both join a critique or writers group and also attend a writers conference or two. You’ll learn so much. You can find out more about the LVWC here.
But wait, there’s more! All interested writers are welcome to attend the reception, even if you can’t attend the conference this year. This is a super event for getting together with other writers and networking in the publishing biz. Add it to your calendar and come on over!