Today’s Dictionary Update: Serious vs. Unserious


As a public service, here is today’s installment of Capitol Hill lexicology. Today’s subject: serious vs. unserious deficit proposals. As committed descriptivists here, we naturally define these words by their actual usage among contemporary users of the language:

Serious (ser ee uhs) adj. any of a group of proposals that immiserates large numbers of ordinary people, either immediately or in the future, via cuts to broad-based social welfare programs.

Unserious (un ser ee uhs) adj. any proposal that slightly inconveniences rich people via modest tax increases or annoys military contractors via small cuts to the Defense Department.

As near as I can tell, that’s about it. Have I missed any nuances?

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.