Donald Trump or “president T” (as he likes to refer to himself on Twitter) has dominated the media like no other resident of the White House.
His influence even extends to the usually calm and somewhat staid world of lexicography, which is the practice of compiling dictionaries.
Dictionary.com reported today that misinformation took top honors as its “2018 Word of the Year.” Dictionary.com defines misinformation as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is an intent to mislead.”
Don't be modest. Take a bow, president T.
Your 6,420 false or misleading claims as chronicled by the Washington Post through Oct. 30 played a huge role in powering misinformation to the top of the Dictionary.com list. You made lies and misleading claims legit in the eyes of your most rabid supporters.
And there’s no let-up in sight. The Post today awarded president T three more “Pinocchios” for whoppers that he dished out concerning African American and Hispanic median income, homeownership and poverty rates.
I'll even heap credit on The Donald for the strong showing on Dictionary.com' s list of self-made (as in Trump's description of himself as a self-made billionaire, giving short shrift to dad, Fred's, more than $400M contribution to sonny's fortunes) and backlash (e.g., Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation circus).
Jane Solomon, who is Dictionary.com’s linguist-in-residence, draws a distinction between misinformation and its cousin, disinformation.
Misinformation, to Solomon, is generally not intended to mislead, while the goal of disinformation is always to mislead.
What are the intentions of president T’s lies and misleading claims? Is he purposely attempting to bamboozle the American people, or not?
Is president T doing the bidding of Russia when he claims over and over that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is a “witch hunt” and there was “no collusion” between Vladimir Putin and Team Trump.
Or does president T mislead because he is in way over his head?
That’s grist for the new Democratic Congress.