Trend Watch

Bannon: Trump 'Maniacally Focused'

Bannon warns of continued fights with media

Maniacally spiked dramatically in lookups on February 23rd, 2017, after it became the adverb of choice for Steve Bannon, in a speech delivered at a gathering of conservative activists and politicians.

Trump is “maniacally focused” on fulfilling his campaign pledges, Bannon warned, predicting a daily fight against the media he has branded as the opposition party.
—David Smith, The Guardian (US edition, web), 23 Feb. 2017

Maniacally is the adverbial form of maniacal and maniac, both of which function as adjectives (maniac may also function as a noun). The adjective has been in our language since the beginning of the 16th century, with the initial meaning of “affected with madness.” The sense of the word that Bannon was presumably intending (“characterized by ungovernable excitement or frenzy”) began seeing use in the early 18th century as an adjective, and was adopted as an adverb in the middle of the 19th.

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