Monday, April 14, 2008

One more thing before I go into semihibernation

A couple of posts ago, I noted that John McCain includes himself among those who "will not ... abide justice." While that use of "abide" strikes me as wrong according to the way we use language today--that is, "tolerate" -- it's acceptable according to a definition in the dictionary, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

But on McCain's Web site, the quote has been changed (fourth paragraph):
These are often the terms applied to men and women of conscience who will not endure cruelty, nor abide injustice.


Thanks to commenter andbehold for pointing that out.

2 comments:

TootsNYC said...

I use "abide" that way--and I've read it that way often.

Usually in the negative:

"I cannot abide her; she's so annoying"

I'm sort of surprised you find it a weird usage. What haven't you been reading?

Jim Donahue said...

I think you're reading me wrong.

You're using the word the way I'd use it--to mean tolerate. "I can't abide her"--I can't tolerate her.

McCain said: "These are often the terms applied to men and women of conscience who will not endure cruelty, nor abide justice."

Meaning, people who can't tolerate justice. Which doesn't make sense.

In the original post, I speculated that he perhaps was using "abide" to mean "wait for" (that is, they're not waiting around for justice to happen--they're makiing it happen)-- which, despite being the first listed meaning in M-W 11th, seems wrong to me.

McCain's Web site has scrubbed the quote to say "nor abide injustice"--that is, won't tolerate injustice. Which I'm sure is what he meant to say in the first place.