[Ads-l] WOTY: "fake news"

Mailbox mailbox at GRAMMARPHOBIA.COM
Wed Dec 7 10:01:05 EST 2016

Perhaps "fake news" should go into the hopper. It may have swung the election.

The durability of the fake news phenomenon was brought home to my husband and me yesterday. I had gotten an insistent message (yet again) from a reader of our blog about the origin of "the whole nine yards," demanding (more or less) that we acknowledge the WWII machine-gun ammunition belt explanation. 

We replied at length by email, recapping the recent 19th-century findings and providing a history of the development of the belt-fed machine gun. All demonstrating of course, that the theory was impossible.

He shot back a reply within a minute: "You are really full of shit."

People who believe etymological folklore cling to it as tenaciously as do those who subscribe to fake news.

Pat O'Conner (http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog <http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog>)
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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