Googlers again needing dictionary for vitriol

Samuel Johnson, who wrote the first English Dictionary, where people can find the definition of vitriol. From Wikimedia Commons

For those of us who pay attention these sorts of things, Google Trends and Google Hot Searches can be quite telling.  One of the big searches for Friday, April 2, was the term “vitriol.” Granted, it is sort of an obscure word. Some people put a lot of instant cash in them that their college, where they get all smarty pantsed and high falutin’ but even some of them need a definition.

What DOES vitriol mean?

The Merriam-Webster entry for vitriol defines it as either a sulfate of various metals, that being the antiquated definition, and the more common definition as something having a caustic (meaning corrosive or acidic) quality, usually speech. There – no need to go out for payday loans to get a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary.

We’re still having confused

Yes, that was, and those above were, deliberate grammar mistakes. Still haven’t got it yet? OK; say hello to my little friend.

“I call him Governor Bush because that’s the last legal position he held in this country.” – George Carlin

That’s an example of vitriol.

How did this word get brought up?

A lot of the statements and attitudes coming from the more conservative camps have been increasingly nasty.  According to a recent post on the USA Today web site, President Obama had a recent interview with CBS News where he strongly objected to the amount of vitriol in the nation’s discourse.  After the health care reform debates, this recent Guardians of the Free Republics fiasco, and Hutaree Militia – there is certainly a lot of vitriol.

It seems that so many people seem to think that they know so much better than anyone else the way things ought to be, and when it appears that their vision of heaven on earth is not going to be happening, they get incredibly mad, on either side of the aisle (the Dems were just as fire and brimstone several years ago) and perhaps it is indeed time for us all to take a breath, relax and remember it’s all just a ride.

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