Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Drudge Report

Slate today has a headline that says the Obama campaign won't "drudge" up old Clinton scandals.

To drudge means "to perform mean or servile tasks; to work hard or slavishly; to toil at laborious and distasteful work," the Oxford English Dictionary reports.

To dredge means "To collect and bring up (oysters, etc.) by means of a dredge; to bring up, fish up, or clear away or out (any object) from the bottom of a river, etc. Also fig."

They meant to use dredge in its figurative sense--to reach into the muck and pull up all that sordid old stuff.

We suspect the confusion comes from the popular "Drudge Report," a conservative blog that revels on the silty bottom of journalism and is considered a must-read by many in the business. How interesting that two words that sound alike are now being conflated elsewhere in the media.

It gives us a whole new word: "to drudge: v., to dig up unpleasant mud and sling it at a political opponent." It could be used by liberals and conservatives alike. Oh, joy.

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