Tweet, Anguish and English!
A simple Google search can at times open the path to unintended, interesting learning. For some crazy reason, I thought it would be nice to know the etymology of the expression, dead meat.
A search took me to Merriam-Webster and, voila, I figured witch-hunt was among the top-trending words and the reason: because US President Donald Trump used it in a tweet, expressing his anguish at being targeted.
The flak he was getting over the Comey saga had made him say that it was “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
The word that came top of the lookups is Nutjob, a derisory term Mr Trump had used to describe the FBI chief he fired, Mr James Comey.
Coincidentally, it has relevance to Mr Trump’s lament as the witch-hunt was of his own making, the result of his actions verging on what could fit the nutjob definition.
A Language That Defies Logic
Beyond politics, there was another revelation for me – nutjob is listed as one word while dead meat and witch hunt are two. This is another instance presenting English as a language that defies logic.
Therein lies its beauty! English gives us the leeway to use words based on context. In effect, there are words such as the above that can be hyphenated, merged or split into two depending on usage requirements – as a noun or a verb. That kind of flexibility gives the language a certain simplicity, too! The finicky can call it complex.
Inescapably, I have also contributed to the lookup, something I could have avoided had the Microsoft Office dictionary been 100% dependable. It is a handy tool, nonetheless!
G Joslin Vethakumar