[Ads-l] "forgo" the euphemism -- or campaign doublespeak?

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 4 17:16:26 UTC 2016

"... a jury [in 2012] ... found Joe not guilty of driving under the influence.  Joe decided to forgo the Breathalyzer, as is his legal right, and requested the jury trial himself," his campaign spokesman, Peter Ryan, said.

Why did his campaign manager and not his lawyer say this?  Well, "Joe" is a lawyer himself, now running in a May 12 special election for a Massachusetts State Senate seat.

Boston Globe, May 4, 2016, page B1 col. 4.

Closer to the actuality of the law is "decided not to undergo the Breathalyzer".  (I think in Massachusetts if one "declines" the Breathalyzer one's license is automatically suspended, but one can appeal the suspension.)

But there is sense 3.a of "forgo" -- "To avoid, elude. Obs. rare—1." So obsolete and rare that the most recent and also only OED quotation is c1305.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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