Word confusion is often the result of a lack of reading. (Internet memes and rabid comments don’t count!) Here are a few examples caught by the Grammar Cop among the proliferation of recent political articles.
- HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: “The faux apology did little to staunch the steady wave of GOP defections over the weekend.” No, the word should be stanch. Staunch is an adjective, as in: “He was a staunch defender of the first amendment.” Stanch is a verb meaning to stem or to stop, e.g. “to stanch the flow of blood.” (By the way, The Huffington Post fixed their error the day after I spotted it. But I wanted to point it out anyway, since it’s a frequently misused word.)
- SALON.COM: “…as if his comments were somehow equivocal to Clinton’s husband’s infidelities.” The word should be equivalent, since what is meant here is “equal to.” (“Equivocal” means uncertain or ambiguous.)
- TRUMP.COM: Okay, I made up the .com part. But Donald Trump, known for such idiotic gaffes as “bigly,” committed another one last week which was largely overlooked among other truly egregious revelations. He said “rejiggering” when he meant rejigging.
A shame it’s too late for the GOP to rejig their nominee for president.