Word Rescue: Inane

Oh, twenty-some years ago it was, I guess, when I read someone criticizing sportscaster Chris Schenkel as “inane”. Hell, it could have been thirty years ago. Thanks goodness I have so much of this stored material to fluff out the blog.

Anyway, I am not sure whether I had to look up “inane” back then, or if I already knew what it meant. If you do not know, it means “not going anywhere”. That is an “in-” for “not”, and a root “ane” related to “animal” and “animate”, meaning “moving”. I never listened much to Chris Schenkel to tell whether his sports commentaries went anywhere, but it is easy to believe they did not.

Now, if you did already know what “inane” means, I commend you. It would be hard to pick up that meaning from the way the word is used in political blogging, where it seems to mean “illogical” or “baseless” and is usually applied to dumb political reporting. Here is an example fresh from Tapped:

Today she makes the inane argument that Obama “mishandled the media” in the ongoing Blagojevich scandal and that’s why they’ve been making so many assumptions about the president-elect’s conduct without any evidence of wrongdoing, and considerable evidence that there was none.


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