Somebody Buy Joe Biden a Dictionary

Biden decries ‘ugly inferences’ against Obama
McCain implied it, Joe. You inferred it.

I’m outraged.

That’s it! Final straw! I’m voting for McCain/Palin!

Sorry, but this prescriptive boat [del]sailed[/del] sank waaaay back in the 16th century.

Maybe he used this dictionary.

On preview, what QED said.

Was John McCain there for the event?

He was busy that day but he did send one of his grandkids.

ETA: Too late

Biden doesn’t need a dictionary. Why, he remembers when President Truman used to go to and that’s when America was proud and had a future of infinite promise.

Has any English usage pit thread ever turned out to have an actual valid complaint? Seems like they always end up complaining about some usage that’s been valid for hundreds of years.

Which is ironic, since the OPs nearly always tell someone to “use a dictionary.” If they took their own advice, we wouldn’t have these threads.

The next step is usually arguing that the usage in question is only in the dictionary because it’s a capitulation to the way the lowly commoners use the word, as if the whole language isn’t like that and had actually been developed in committee, and only those original specs are the real rules. Lets see if that one get pulled out, or if I Heisenberged it out of here.

Yes, I made up the word “Heisenberged”.

Well, it certainly goes against the distinction most of us learn in high school. It’s a little disingenuous to google up obscure definitions when you probably know that. is obscure? How about Merriam-Webster, those wacky secret dictionary compilers?

So this thread shouldn’t be a total loss, I shall entertain everyone with a quote from Rex Stout, a word fetishist (and creator of Nero Wolfe, a word purist):

From Gambit, 1962:

Personally I cringe when I hear “infer” used the way Biden did. Can’t help it, I learned it at my mother’s knee and damned if I can change now. :slight_smile: Ah well, I’m still loving the guy these days, so I’ll forgive him this peccadillo. (Hell, if I can forgive the bankruptcy bill … well, actually I can’t, but I can accept it and move on. Perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good.)

There exist usage shiboleths, and this is one of them. Yes, the alternate usage has been around for so long that it’s “real”, in the sense that everyone knows what you mean, but when speaking in the formal register, it’s best to avoid it. Precision in that register implies education and care in chosing one’s words–both good things in a candidate.

You sure it’s a good thing? Sounds elitist to me! You need to throw out a “you betcha” or three to remind Joe Sixpack you represent his redneck ass when you ride your snowmobile into D.C. chewing on a mooseburger.

It isn’t just pit threads. Behold the creamed cheese gambit.

Yeah, but see, that was just retarded. At least this OP was fundamentally correct

I stand by my original comment. The distinction between “proper” use of infer vs. imply is well known. I would wager that it is even known to you.

Edit: which you now concede in a post that appeared before mine.