plausible deniability

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 29 14:54:11 UTC 2010

For at least one poltical activist the meaning has changed from "an excuse
or similar stratagem by which plausibly to deny actual guilty knowledge;
alibi" to "the legitimate ability to declare one's real ignorance or
innocence."  Or has it?

According to a Republican mouthpiece on CNN:

"They gave the President plausible deniability by keeping him out of the

Of course, the "new" meaning becomes clear only by paying attention.  "They
gave the President plausible deniability" is all most people will hear. So
he's guilty as sin.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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