Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Abhorrent big words

Doug Harkness, writing his "On Politics" column in the local paper produced the following:
"When I began helping out with a local hockey team for athletes with developmental challenges a few years back I must admit that I had no prior experience in dealing with people with autism. Rather than fearing the unknown I made it my business to find out all that I could. I will admit that while I am still a long way from being an expert on autism I know enough to have been abhorred when I read a story in the cross town paper about some residents who didn't really want a group home for autistic adults in their neighbourhood."
Indeed, if you know enough stuff, you're quite likely to be abhorred by someone. But apparently, Doug doesn't know the meaning of abhor. Then again, neither does Ken Epp, and he's a Member of Parliament. The Hansard for 2002 has Ken saying,
"Mr. Speaker, we in Canada have a rich and wealthy heritage in our youth. It is incumbent on governments at all levels, but particularly at the federal level, of ensuring that education is available to students of all financial ability. I am abhorred by the fact that some students have a lot of mental ability and the motivation but lack the money and are deprived of a necessary education."
Ignoring for the moment "incumbent... of ensuring", here again we have abhorred used to mean dismayed, upset or angered. But wait; there's more! The obligatory google search turns up over 5,000 hits for "abhorred by the fact", which indicates that Doug and Ken are far from alone in being objects of loathing for facts, ideas, and all sorts of inanimate nouns.

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