Even since before his inauguration, Mr. Trump’s rise has been characterized by an erosion of surety, bizarre and inscrutable subplots worthy of an airport-bookstore spy thriller, by epistemological questions about what is truth and what is fiction like no time in recent American history.
By the ghost of William Safire, what a paragraph! Inscrutable, epistemological… so much for writing to a sixth grade reading level.
We haven’t reported a sighting recently (not that there haven’t been any), so here it is, writ large: surety, which we covered four years ago. Why the Gray Lady did not choose the more certain certainty we cannot say. Perhaps they wanted to suggest Trump is eroding the guarantee past Presidents have made for stability and security. Not that he ran on any such thing.
As noted in our article, surety can mean “certainty,” but since it has other meanings where certainty does not – well, let’s just say that erodes the surety that readers will cotton the writer’s meaning.
– Otto E. Mezzo