Asked • 03/21/19

Is there punctuation for words treated as words?

From the New York Times](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/us/politics/trump-critics-treason-putin.html): > Mr. Trump’s critics reach for words like treason and traitor because they, like others, are searching for an explanation for actions that are so different from those of his predecessors. Other presidents, including Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush, sought to build good relations with Mr. Putin’s Russia, but none seemed so willing for so long to overlook hostile Russian actions or side with Moscow over the agencies of their own government.Shouldn't "treason" and "traitor" be in quotation marks (or otherwise set off)? In the quoted sentence, those words don't have their normal meanings. For example, "traitor" doesn't mean "a **person** who betrays their country", it means "the **word** spelled t-r-a-i-t-o-r". Or is this just a NYT style thing? And I'm also curious: is there a relevant term for this usage? I'm thinking of an expression that could be defined as: "a word treated as a word rather than as a referrer to something else"?PS: I know I've assumed an answer to my first question by the way I've punctuated it it, but couldn't think of any other way to make my meaning clear. I guess I'm asking whether punctuation is *required*, rather than optional as the NYT seems to assume.

1 Expert Answer

By:

Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.

OR

Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.