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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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!

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate