You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Wall Street Journal Goes Crazy With Quotation Marks

In honor of Jon Chait, I thought I would call readers' attention to the lead editorial in Friday's Wall Street Journal. Jon has for many years noticed that the paper enjoys putting quotation marks around words it doesn't like, even when completely inappropriate (as in, 'people say the "deficit" is too big'). Now, however, they seem to simply be placing quotation marks around words for no particular reason at all. The piece begins:

We've been saying for some time that the economy could use another tax cut, so perhaps we should be pleased that Washington is suddenly talking about a fiscal "stimulus." The challenge now is getting politicians to distinguish between policies that actually "stimulate" and the equivalent of dropping hundred dollar bills from helicopters.

No, no, no! Why is the word "stimulate" in quotation marks? They are discussing real stimulation, not "stimulation". But now to something they don't like--spending:

As for "spending it," we tried this a few years back and it didn't work very well. 

No again! If the Journal wants to accuse people of spending money, they should not put quotes around "spending". It reads as if the Democrats did not actually spend the money, when of course the Journal thinks they did! Can someone please discuss this problem with the paper's editors?

--Isaac Chotiner