"justify": another reversal

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sat Feb 13 17:07:45 UTC 2010

Of those 1500 ghits, only about 13 are actual hits. The others are
repetitions and quotes of the original. And in some of the 13, the phrase is
being used ironically--expressing the opinion that light punishment
encourages violations.

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 7:17 AM
Subject: "justify": another reversal

Add to the list that includes _ancestor_, _substitute_, and (soon) _*via_.

Said a college-grad Bad Girl this week, "I don't think the punishment
justifies the crime!"  She meant it didn't fit the crime.

I was going to ignore this as a foolish slip. Then I found nearly 1500 raw
Googlits for "punishment justifies the crime."

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

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

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

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