The Use-Mention Distinction and its Importance to HCI

In this paper we contend that the ability to engage in meta-dialog is necessary for free and exible conversation. Central to the possibility of meta-dialog is the ability to recognize and negotiate the distinction between the use and mention of a word. The paper surveys existing theoretical approaches to the use-mention distinction, and brie y describes some of our ongoing e orts to implement a system which represents the use-mention distinction in the service of simple meta-dialog.
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