“Comments attributed to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are very troubling, and despite his clarification today the party stands to lose many of its members and a great deal of its support in the trenches of grass-roots politics,” former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said in a posting on his blog. “For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it's a violation of the most basic of human rights — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
OK - I know that Merriam-Webster's lists as its fourth definition for "infer" as to "suggest." But the dictionary also makes the following note on usage: "At present sense 4 is found in print chiefly in letters to the editor and other informal prose, not in serious intellectual writing. The controversy over sense 4 has apparently reduced the frequency of use of sense 3."
As a teacher and an editor, I would have used my red pen on Gov. Huckabee's words. In my mind, his usage is akin to confusing allusion and illusion or flaunt and flout.
Of course, this quote is from a man who doesn't accept the validity of evolutionary theory.
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