Misremembering the English language

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.”

Add a comment
Tom says:

I’ve been using it for years. I never heard anything about it not being a word until the whole Roger Clemens thing. I was very confused. It’s definitely a word.

Kelsey says:

To me, if a “word” makes sense, even if it ain’t an actual word, it should be considered a word.

Take “ain’t” for example. It’s a word people. You know what it means. Deal with it.

Let your voice be heard!