I watched Roger Clemens testify before Congress. I laughed at him when he busted out “misremember” after “misremember”.
“That’s not even a word,” I said to the TV, talking around a bite of cold pizza.
Months later and I find “misremember” entering my everyday speech. I always say it with a wink and a nod and maybe a pair of air-quotes, as if everyone had spent hours on the Tuesday or Thursday – or whatever day the testimony was – watching it. Like it was our own inside joke.
Last night the guest on the daily show – some Washington crony whose book Stewart touted as “well foot-noted, making for a very slow read” – busted out “misremember”. I laughed, smug with the knowledge that I knew “misremember” wasn’t a word.
This morning I sat at my computer to write about how amazing it is that Roger Clemens, a baseball player, had invented a word that looks like it’s taking hold. But first I decided to look it up in the dictionary, even though I knew it wouldn’t be there. It was.
Misremember is a word.
And what a great word it is. Instead of having to say “I don’t recall” or “I can’t remember” or some other multi-word phrase, “misremember” is a tight little package of “hell, I don’t know.”
Have you used “misremember”? You should give it a try. Although if you’re testifying before Congress, you might want to be a bit more formal: “Sir, I cannot (conjunctions are too informal for Senators) at this time.”