Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Is Obama's enormous task an evil one?

I was going to let it go when I heard Obama say it, but now Donna Brazile is citing what some might consider the President-elect's first malapropism in a fresh DSCC pitch for funds:
However, President-elect Obama has warned us about "the enormity of the task that lies ahead."
Most dictionaries define "enormity" as a moral outrage -- wickedness or an act of wickedness. It's true that some acknowledge, with varying degrees of disapproval, that it's often used as a noun form of "enormous"; Collins Essential English Dictionary even goes so far as to note that "in modern English, it is common to talk about the enormity of something such as a task or a problem." And in fact Obama may have wanted to stress the monstrous nature of the aggregated challenges he referred to -- fruit as they are, in his past characterizations, of unilateralism and deregulation run amok.

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