2020欧洲杯时间

All About That Baseless: Bad-Faith Accusations

From unfair insults to false accusations made intentionally to harm a person's reputation, there's no shortage of vocabulary for dishonest verbal attacks.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. animadversion
    harsh criticism or disapproval
    He dismissed their commissioners with severe and sharp animadversions.
    Animadvertere is a Latin verb meaning "to be critical."
  2. aspersion
    a disparaging remark
    “But we are not casting aspersions on the votes that are being counted.”
    Usually seen in the phrase "to cast aspersions," it comes from the Latin aspergere, "to spatter," as with mud.
  3. besmirch
    charge falsely or with malicious intent
    Chinese nationalists mounted a trolling campaign against her, claiming she was besmirching Wuhan’s rosy-cheeked image.
    Besmirch originally meant "to soil," "to make dirty," or "to stain" in a literal sense, but now it refers to damaging a person's reputation with false accusations.
  4. calumny
    a false accusation of an offense
    The court claimed that these letters contained “rumor, calumny and counter-revolutionary speech” and amounted to collecting intelligence “on behalf of imperialism.”
  5. defamation
    an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
    Parliamentary privilege protects MPs from being sued for defamation for speeches made in Parliament.
    Like libel and slander, both below, defamation has a specific legal meaning, and you can sue someone for defamation of character if they damage your reputation with false charges in a way that hurts your career or costs you money.
  6. disparage
    express a negative opinion of
    She later issued a more formal apology reflecting on the implications of her words and her privilege as a white woman disparaging two women of color in her industry.
    Disparage is a more eloquent way of saying "put-down:" something meant to be hurtful, whether accurate or not.
  7. hypocrisy
    pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not have
    Along with triggering accusations of hypocrisy, it risks prompting people to question why they should be following the rules, if those involved in imposing them are not.
    If anyone has ever said "Do as I say, not as I do" to you, that person is a hypocrite.
  8. ignominy
    a state of dishonor
    There was of course no pride for the defeated German nation, only ignominy and destruction.
    Ignominia is Latin for "disgrace" or "dishonor." It contains the root nomen, name, showing terrible damage to one's reputation.
  9. invective
    abusive language used to express blame or censure
    A Trumpian dystopia would be a Frankenstein monster constructed of the worst parts of previous administrations with plenty of ugly invective and narcissistic preening thrown in for bad measure.
    When language crosses from critical or even harsh into abusive, that's invective.
  10. libel
    a false and malicious publication
    When Trump sued O’Brien for libel in 2006, a suit dismissed in 2011, he “resisted releasing his tax returns and other financial records”.
    Knowingly lying about someone in print is libel. If you can prove that the person knew their accusations were false, you can win damages in civil court.
  11. obloquy
    abusive, malicious, and condemnatory language
    As a result, she became an unwilling media figure and victim who, long after her father’s conviction and imprisonment, was subjected to obloquy and harassment.
    Close in meaning to calumny, above, obloquy connotes more harshness and less overt dishonesty.
  12. perjury
    criminal offense of making false statements under oath
    In March the department’s police chief and three high ranking officers were indicted on perjury charges related to allegations they ignored evidence that an officer from the department was consorting with a local drug dealer.
    The Latin root iur — we swapped in a J for the I — means "law." Jury, judge, judicious, and many other words from the legal world use it. Perjury is a crime; if you lie under oath, you can do serious jail time.
  13. slander
    words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another
    “That is precisely why we resolutely oppose all forms of hatred, slander/propaganda and discrimination.”
    Where libel is lying about someone in print, slander is doing it out loud.
  14. vituperation
    abusive or venomous language to express blame or censure
    Whenever I raise the crucial issue of yield per hectare, I receive a barrage of vituperation and abuse.
    Like invective, above vituperative language is hostile and abusive.
Created on February 28, 2020 (updated July 17, 2020)

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