>Etymology of nuancespeak

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Widespread use of the word “nuance” by the Kerry Campaign to explain what to the common sense mind looks like clear contradictions, flip-flops and fuzzball revisions is a classic case of language corruption.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “nuance” as a “subtle distinction or variation…a subtle quality…a nicety.” The word comes from the Middle French nuer “to make shades of color.”

It has never meant the opposite of what someone said or did last month or last year, let alone yesterday.

On the other hand, the Kerry Campaign may be justified in its polluted use of “nuance” after all. According to Webster’s the word is not only derived from the MF nuer but also from the MF word nue meaning “cloud.”

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