Okay. What we seem to have here, correct me if I am wrong,
is a word that has two opposite and contradictory meanings.
Main Entry: avow.ed.ly
1 : with open acknowledgment : FRANKLY
2 : by unsupported assertion or profession alone : ALLEGEDLY
Frankly and openly acknowledged means the USSR was a democracy.
Allegedly means it was only by assertion.
posted on 08/28/2002 4:51:41 PM PDT
I wouldn't say they are opposite and contradictory, exactly. Def. 1 means that one may openly avow a position, attitude or personal belief. Def. 2 means that a vow is simply a bald assertion or promise, unsupported by corroborating material. I suspect that the frequency of broken vows brought Def. 2 to the fore in conventional usage.
posted on 08/28/2002 5:44:45 PM PDT
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