Word of the 2016 elections: Mumpsimus


Wikipedia said: The humanist scholar Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam may have coined the word. Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/1498–1543, Wikipedia Image

Wikipedia said: The humanist scholar Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam may have coined the word. Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/1498–1543, Wikipedia Image

Mumpsimus. A description of the malady that plagues U.S. politics in 2016.

Odd word, but even Wikipedia has very descriptive entry.

A mumpsimus is an action by a person who adheres to a routine, idea, custom, set of beliefs, or a certain use of language that has been shown to be unreasonable or incorrect. For example, a person may continue to say all intents and purposes as all intensive purposes,[1] even after being corrected. The term mumpsimus may also refer to the person who performs the action.

Definition

Mumpsimus has been defined as a “traditional custom obstinately adhered to however unreasonable it may be”,[2] as well as “someone who obstinately clings to an error, bad habit or prejudice, even after the foible has been exposed and the person humiliated; also, any error, bad habit, or prejudice clung to in this fashion”.[3] In other words, mumpsimus can describe the behavior, as well as the person doing it. Garner’s Modern American Usage says the word could describe George W. Bush because of his persistent habit of pronouncing “nuclear” as /noo-kyə-lər/ (“nucular”) instead of the standard /noo-klee-ər/, despite the error being widely reported.[4]

Mumpsimus became a hashtag on Twitter earlier this year, and you can see why.

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One Response to Word of the 2016 elections: Mumpsimus

  1. I missed mumpsimus on Twitter but I like it. I would add bumptious and snollygoster to describe some. Thanks for the new word. Cheers for the weekend!

    Like

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