Senior Member
Once the Mongols had left the retributions began. Some heads were removed from their shoulders, but the acrimonious debate rumbled on about whether to '' compromise '' by granting trading rights to the Mongols or to take further hard line.

Hello. Please help me to understand why this word compromise is in '' ''? Maybe because in english it means both compromise and shame? Is this that the author want to say in this case? Thanks.
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I really have no idea.
    This is using what Larry Trask called scare quotes Source.
    Quotation marks used in this way are informally called scare quotes. Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase from which you, the writer, wish to distance yourself because you consider that word or phrase to be odd or inappropriate for some reason. Possibly you regard it as too colloquial for formal writing; possibly you think it's unfamiliar or mysterious; possibly you consider it to be inaccurate or misleading; possibly you believe it's just plain wrong. Quite often scare quotes are used to express irony or sarcasm:


    Senior Member
    Thanks. So this is very hard for interpretation as I thought however.

    Maybe this word is in '' '' because this is quote from chinese sourses? If this is not the reason this means that I am right that this is pin. Because in ebglish the words have many senses it is wide spread practic.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    Hi Masis,

    Unless we know more of the context, we can't be sure, but I think it might be in quotation marks because the Chinese (or the author) did not regard giving trading rights to the Mongols as a compromise but a surrender to their demands.
    < Previous | Next >