Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Word of the Day

I used the word ostensibly in an email exchange with Julie, and she suggested that it was a particularly appropriate word, especially in a pre-election environment. I wonder why she said that?

The Free Dictionary
defines ostensible as "represented or appearing as such" and provides as an example "His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity." And here is another nice example of the use of the word, from David Flint on the Crikey website ". . . measures against fraud at general elections . . . were significantly eased in the 80s, ostensibly to make voting easier. (Few voters at the time were aware that voting was difficult.)"

And from a cornucopia of usage examples, mainly in political contexts, in Webster's Online Dictionary:
"Although citizens ostensibly vote for the President and Members of Parliament, they do not have the right to change their government."

Quite right, Julie!

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