Disconnect this.

Have you ever heard anyone use the word “disconnect” in any meaning other than something is not connected? Such as, “My computer got disconnected to the Internet.” Or, “No wonder the printer isn’t working. Some idiot disconnected it from the wall jack.” But now the word has become a favorite of reporters to mean that something doesn’t add up: facts are missing, a politician is called a liar, the President is playing golf alone because his Secret Service guys just got furloughed, Washington has never heard of the Kansas City Milkman. Everything is now disconnected. Merriam-Webster lists two dozen synonyms for disconnect and three dozen words related to disconnect.

But reporters and editors love disconnect. They use it to mean whatever they think it should mean. A quick search finds that Globe has used disconnect 117 times in the past year, while the New York Times used it 215 times. Here, for example, is a page one story (mainly speculation) in the Boston Sunday Globe, Jan. 21, 2018, about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, whom Trump, the Joker in Chief, calls “Pocahontas.”

“As Warren is mentioned as a serious presidential contender in 2020, even some who should be her natural allies say Warren has displayed a stubborn unwillingness to address the gap between the story she was told of Native Americans in the family tree and a dearth of hard evidence to back it up.

“It’s a disconnect that has lingered unresolved in the public sphere for more than five years.”

File under: Disconnect disconnect.


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