Word Nerd Wednesday: That’s Fake News

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! Fall has come in swinging here in Virginia and I’m loving it. Somehow cooler weather makes everything seem better, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s just me. Moving right along . . .

Today’s word nerd story story is about a high schooler named Calum. Calum has been known to get into a bit of trouble occasionally, especially with his best friend, Yate. The two are as thick as thieves, as they say. And one day, neither of them is at school. The rumors start flying.

“I heard they stole a car and took off for Mexico,” one student says.

“My brother knows someone at the police department and he says they got arrested for dealing drugs,” another student asserts.

On and on, the rumors fly, about exactly what kind of trouble Calum and Yate have gotten themselves into now.

To create rumors about “Calum ‘n Yate” = calumniate (kuh-LUM-nee-ate), which means to slander or defame. No doubt you’re familiar with the concept, even if the word is new to you. Calumniating is as old as time, a weapon of manipulation and control, and it’s become a regular political tactic these days.

Like C.H. Spurgeon said, “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” If some piece of negative information flies fast and spreads quickly, be wary: it may be the result of some crafty calumniating.

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