More Fallout From “47 Percent” Video: MoJo Joins the Lexicon

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Under “surreptitious” in the dictionary, see us.

When Mother Jones‘ intrepid copy editor, Ian Gordon, was perusing the Merriam-Webster home page this morning, he noticed a funny thing on the site’s “Trend Watch” section—a reference to the “47 percent” video of Mitt Romney released by our DC bureau chief, David Corn, last week:

Screenshot courtesy of Merriam-Webster.comScreenshot courtesy of Merriam-Webster.comThe dictionary folks say lookups of the word “surreptitious” spiked last Tuesday:

In the main campaign story of the week, surreptitious was widely used to describe the video of Mitt Romney speaking to wealthy supporters at a fundraising dinner and discussing low-income voters.

The video was apparently taken without the knowledge of the candidate or others at the event.

Surreptitious means “done, made, or acquired by stealth,” or “clandestine.” It comes from the Latin verb that means “to snatch secretly.”

Okay, I’ll stop without further comment, before they update their page and list us under “bluster” and “hubris.” Meanwhile, true fans of verbiage can continue to puzzle over which “vulgar, unprintable phrase” an anonymous adviser used to describe the Romney campaign to the New York Times!

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

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