Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 29 15:26:18 UTC 2011

I'd add this sense as OED 3.c. I've been hearing and reading it for at least
a dozen years.

2000 John H. Arnold _History_ (N.Y.:Sterling, 2009) 100: For [historical
documents] are not innocent; their voices talk to certain ends, intend
certain consequences. They are not mirrors of past reality, but events in

The meaning is "open to simple, straightforward interpretation; free of
unconscious or unacknowledged motive or intention."

Why phrases like "not perfectly straightforward" or "requiring careful
interpretation" need to be replaced by "not innocent" is beyond men. (Cf.
the parallel, endemic critical terms "interrogate" and "complicit.")

"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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