Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Spurrilous?

The word 'spurious' means "false, untrue", while 'scurrilous' means "offensive, obscene". They are two words that are often confused. I read so many press releases that says something like: "These charges are completely scurrilous." Does this person simply mean to communicate the fact that the charges are scandalous, or is the person trying to say that the charges are untrue?

Or maybe these types are trying to capitalize on the fact that people mistake the two. One can appear to be denying something, while at the same time avoid perjuring oneself. Instead of saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," perhaps President Clinton should have said, "These charges are completely scurrilous." Or perhaps Clinton could have said the charges were spurious, and when caught, he could have just bitten his lip and said, "I meant to say scurrilous."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting rants.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps an example of deliberate ambiguation - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060809/ap_on_el_ge/primary_elections_65

9:12 PM  

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