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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

From whence came the word "propulgate"

Just a quick note: if my memory serves me correctly, no one guessed and I never revealed the source of the titular reference to the fake word "propulgate" in my previous post on ignorance. The term comes from the enjoyable political show The West Wing, in the episode "Disaster Relief". The vice president Bob Russell, who is not the sharpest member of the political cabinet, uses the term in a meeting to the chagrin of those on his side and confusion of those to whom he is speaking.

Note: I have also started labelling posts with titular references with the tag "Reference Game". While I have not gone back and retroactively labelled all those posts that came before, perhaps I will get around to it at some point. In the future, it should make things a little more organized.

8 comments:

ambientporn said...

I think that's 'chagrin' without an 'e'. Just found this page while watching the West Wing, wondering if propulgate was a real word or not :D

Mozglubov said...

You are correct... it is now fixed.

Lora said...

I love the word propulgate, and always wondered why it wasn't a real word and where it came from. thanks!

Zak said...

Isn't it "propagate", as in the verb form of "propaganda"? Are you sure you didn't just mis-hear him?

Mozglubov said...

Hi Zak,

Have you seen the show 'the West Wing'? I believe 'propagate' is indeed what the character was trying to say, but if you watch the episode in question it is a distinct joke that he instead says 'propulgate'.

Anonymous said...

Well in the subtitles for this West Wing episode on the DVD it does say "propulgate" - quotation marks and all. So I'm pretty confident they mean it.

Anonymous said...

"I don't mind he walked into a propeller, although I'm pretty sure there's no such word as "propulgate". Maybe he meant "propagate", or "promulgate"

I make it a point never to pass up a chance to quote Leo McGarry.

Ian said...

It's spelled "propulgate" in the subtitles.