Saturday, April 01, 2006

Inartful? Let's talk inept!

An editorial in today’s print edition of the Richmond Times-Disgrace (RTD) called Goode's "go back to Mexico" remark “inartful,” and claims that “Diplomacy is not the Congressman’s strong suit,” When I looked inartful up online, I came across this colorful definition:

Inartful: The perfect word to use to get liberals off your back. They think you’re apologizing (them being liberals and all), but since it’s not a real word, it doesn’t really count.

I also checked “Inartful” at Dictionary.com and Answers.com and found no definition listed. However, I did find the following link which verified what I had observed:

“…Look up inartful in the dictionary. If you find it, let me know. I couldn't.'' Inartful is in no dictionary because it is not a word.

But this article also goes a step further and says:

An early meaning of artful was ''performed with skill, dexterous”… That meaning of the word has atrophied, however, its function taken over by skillful…What happened to artful? It came to mean ''adroit,'' then gained a more pejorative connotation, almost ''crafty, wily”… If artful now means ''crafty, wily, slippery,'' what would inartful mean? Take disingenuous as an analogy: ingenuous means ''innocent, naive,'' and disingenuous means ''falsely frank, calculating.'' Thus, with artful meaning ''wily,'' inartful would mean ''not wily'' and would be a compliment.”

As that piece goes on to say about its situation, using inartful to mean made a mistake or “goofed'' makes no sense. And it does not make sense in this editorial.

The RTD also claims that Goode raises a good question. No one is denying that he has brought up an issue that is currently dividing the Republican party and people across the nation. However, we do ask that he learn how to talk in public—or use notes to help him look more intelligent. : )

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At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberals use "inartful" too!
Justice Stevens uses the word in his dissent in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 US 748 (2005). In footnote 20, he writes, "Putting aside the inartful passage of respondent's brief..."

 

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