conspiracy = "a theory of conspiracy"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Apr 27 13:02:22 UTC 2013

On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM, Geoffrey Nunberg wrote:
> A related -- and surprisingly widespread --  usage is "conspirators" for
> "those who believe in a conspiracy," the connection to "conspire"
> evidently having been eclipsed.  A search on "birther" and
> "conspirators" turns up numerous hits like these:
> Obama gives big middle finger to birther conspirators.
> Substituting "truther" etc. turns up the same sort of thing.

And then there are adjectival and adverbial forms. Looking back on my
own usage, I see I've referred to "the conspiratorial '-er' ending":

I think I'm on slightly safer ground referring to the "conspiratorially minded":

Or better yet, "conspiracy-minded types" (though I suppose I really
mean "conspiracy-theory-minded types"):


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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