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For the name (word), I can write: “cat”, ‘cat’, or cat

For the referent, I can write: cat

For the meaning, how should I write it?

  • 1
    The tag says "meaning" but this is a question about writing style and punctuation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 11, 2021 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


The name is “cat” or ‘cat’

The meaning is “a small domestic animal with soft fur kept as a pet or for catching mice.” or ‘a small domestic animal with soft fur kept as a pet or for catching mice.’

It is a matter of stylistic choice whether you use single or double quotation marks. Just as it is a stylistic choice whether you choose serif or sanserif font.

The referent is enter image description here

  • (Single and double) quotation marks are used for the meaning too?
    – user284747
    Dec 11, 2021 at 20:54
  • Single or double. They are both used and are functionally equivalent. (but check a style guide if you are writing for a particular institution)
    – James K
    Dec 11, 2021 at 20:55
  • ‘Parcours’ is a French word meaning the route or the journey. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/mean_1 I think the dictionary is wrong. It should be ‘Parcours’ is a French word meaning ‘route’ or ‘journey’.
    – user284747
    Dec 11, 2021 at 20:59
  • Perhaps, but it's really not important. The purpose of puncutation is the make meaning clearer. Old English and Latin were written without any punctuation at all. Sometimes that makes it hard to understand. So scribes and printers invented punctuation to make sentences easier to understand. If the sentence is already easy to understand you don't need the punctuation.
    – James K
    Dec 11, 2021 at 21:02
  • 1
    If it helps your readers understand. Font changes are intended to help readers understand the nuance of a text. A font change can be an acceptable alternative to quote marks in some contexts. In many cases I think no quote marks or font changes are really needed.
    – James K
    Dec 11, 2021 at 21:12

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