Friday, April 2, 2010


Sometime ago, I posted about the disbelief in our society about what magicians do and how we cannot allow the societal belittlement of our art enter our own psyches. I had sent a link not an article that I felt placed quotes around the term witch and talked about how the articles about what we do say things like "Mr. X a self-proclaimed witch" when you'll never see someone called a self-proclaimed Christian.

I was blasted by readers for misinterpreting the article. I think only one comment was on the main thrust of the post. So here we go again. Here is another article in which the term sorcerer is in quotes. I have seen this is a lot in the various news articles about Saudi Arabia's despicable behavior.

So, gentle readers, blast away again.


Monsignor Scott Rassbach said...

In this particular case, the quotes might be justified. He made predictions on a radio call in talk show. Not sure that qualifies him as a sorcerer.

Patrick said...

Journalists must report quoted material in quotes. When they wish to emphasize that they are quoting the judgment of others, rather than observable fact, they conventionally put quotes around it. You often see this in newspapers talking about people accused of crimes. I really don't understand why you don't seem to understand this basic convention of journalism, or why you insist on taking it personally. It's like being angry at semicolons.

Rufus Opus said...

The quotes are a reference to what he was actually charged with; I don't think it's intentionally slighting to sorcerors.

What he did was perform some kind of divination while he was in Saudi Arabia, if I read it right, and that's why they arrested him and charged him with sorcery.

You gotta wonder... didn't he see that coming? :D

Frater POS said...

@Patrick: "You often see this in newspapers talking about people accused of crimes." Really. Send me a link where there are quotations around "Homicide", "Murder", "Rape". I've never seen it.

@Monsignor Rassbach, agreed.

@ RO See comment to Patrick

Frater POS said...

@Patrick - semicolons are bastards. they only take care of half the shit.

Patrick said...

Look at this page.

Just scanning, I count twelve uses of quotation marks in headlines.

Frater POS said...

@ Patrick, aside from one story, all of the words quoted in the headlines from the BBC were a quote from a person speaking in the story, save one which seemed to quote itself for no reason I could discern. In the story I linked no one was quoted using the word sorcery nor have they in the majority of stories I've read on the case.

Maybe the quotes are a UK thing. Yet none of the quotes I saw on the bbc quoted a criminal charge but what people said. In the States, I turned to CNN. I found one that was also a direct quote from the story.

The challenge is still there only slightly modified. Show me a story in a US based publication that places quotes around the criminal charge filed.

Patrick said...

I'm not going to play "jump higher, no, higher" with you.

The original article is quoting the charge. That's very clear from context. That you choose to be offended about the quotation marks is a pity, since it's a person's life that matters.

Frater POS said...

That challenge to find the quote about a charge in a headline was in my first challenge. View it as you will. I will admit this is done a lot in the UK. It isn't as common in the US

Jhonn Barghest said...

- Former Chinese official sees 'dark clouds'
- Wal-Mart 'appalled' at racist announcement
- I'm a 'sext' offender
- 'Dead' woman was still alive
- Living in a 'food desert'
- 'Bully-cides' the new teen problem?
- Worker warned over airport scan 'harassment'

As Patrick put it, the quotes emphasize that they are quoting from the judgement of others. I've even included a couple quotes that denote some sort of accusation or crime.

Frater POS said...

Okay, I surrender. I have a tendency to view this in another form when it comes to our arts. A friend recently told me about her step-child "accidentally" shooting her child with a pellet gun. The quotes she used indicated disbelief in the lad's words.

Frater POS said...

However, this has started me on a new campaign against semicolons. I mean really, they are half-assed punctuation marks.