Media Blog

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That Word, It Does Not Mean ...


… what I think you think it means. Obama has his enormities and precipices, and Steve Schmidt, in the course of suggesting that Sarah Palin is stupid, broke out a five-dollar SAT vocabulary word – nonplussed – and misused it. A literary correspondent writes MB:

The latest revelations about Sarah Palin being “nonplussed” are funny for anyone who actually looks up the meaning of the word. Steve Schmidt on 60 minutes said Palin was “nonplussed” when asked to be McCain’s running mate. By context, he means calm and accepting about it. Nonplussed means the opposite.

I’m not one to be ungenerous toward people who make these kinds of mistakes — my editors here at NR could give you a hundred reasons why that is (“I am amused, Kevin, by the fact that you’ve misspelled ’misspell’ ….”) and the magic of Google keeps all of my own errors right at hand — but, given that these guys make a living sneering at the likes of Palin and George W. Bush, a little abuse is in order. So: snort, snort, etc. (The Washington Post doesn’t seem to know what the word means, either.)


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