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Feb 16, 2017
This week’s theme
American eponyms

This week’s words
bork
John Hancock
Benedict Arnold
McCarthyism
gerrymander

McCarthyism cartoon
Cartoon: Herbert Block

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

McCarthyism

PRONUNCIATION:
(muh-KAHR-thee-iz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: The practice of making unfounded accusations against someone.

ETYMOLOGY:
After US senator Joseph McCarthy (1909-1957) known for making unsubstantiated claims accusing people of being Communists, spies, or disloyal. Earliest documented use: in 1950 in a cartoon by Herbert Block.

USAGE:
“There is a general intolerance of those in positions of power of views contrary to their own. Pakistan today needs, more than ever, to guard against McCarthyism.”
Pakistan Needs to Guard Against McCarthyism; The Statesman (Peshawar, Pakistan); Dec 11, 2016.

See more usage examples of McCarthyism in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing the ground. -Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, editor, and orator (1817-1895)

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