Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dictionaries have a purpose.

You would think by now the right might have stopped attacking Shirley Sherrod, the person at the center of the edited, so called 'racist' tape. Most have, but not Jeffrey Lord, who writes for The American Spectator, a haven for the thinkers on the far right. It's where Ben Stein suggested last week that the only reason so many people are still unemployed is because they have poor work habits or personality defects.

Lord writes

Shirley Sherrod's story in her now famous speech about the lynching of a relative is not true. The veracity and credibility of the onetime Agriculture Department bureaucrat at the center of the explosive controversy between the NAACP and conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart is now directly under challenge.

and goes on to say

Plain as day, Ms. Sherrod says that Bobby Hall, a Sherrod relative, was lynched. As she puts it, describing the actions of the 1940s-era Sheriff Claude Screws: "Claude Screws lynched a black man."

This is not true. It did not happen. How do we know this?

How do we know this? Because, Lord writes, Bobby Hall was beaten to death not hanged. Here is one the definition of lynch from the Oxford On Line Dictionary.

(of a mob) kill (someone), especially by hanging, for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial

While hanging was the preferred method of lynching, the legal definition is a mob of three or more killing or attempting to kill someone accused of a crime outside the legal system.

Bobby Hall was lynched both legally and linguistically. Jeffrey Lord spends four pages trying to prove that Shirley Sherrod is probably a racist because he has proved that she is a liar. It's the lead story on The Ameridan Spectator.

He could have saved everyone a lot of trouble by using a dictionary. Someone should tell him that they are there to be used by writers to help them not look like complete idiots.

No comments: