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Scare quotes, shudder quotes, or sneer quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to signal that a term is being used in a non-standard, ironic, or otherwise special sense. They may be used to imply that a particular expression is not necessarily how the author would have worded a concept. Scare quotes may serve a function similar to verbally preceding a phrase with the expression "so-called"—they may imply skepticism or disagreement, belief that the words are mis-used, or that the writer intends a meaning opposite to the words enclosed in quotes.

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