Trend Watch

Conflate

Brian Williams's confused recollection of an Iraq War experience ...


When:

Lookups spiked initially on February 6, 2015, and continued to be among the top lookups for a week.

conflate-brian-williams
Photo: wikimedia

Why:

Brian Williams's account of his experience in an army helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq changed when he recounted it in recent appearances. He stated that he was in a helicopter that was hit by RPG and rifle fire, when in fact he was in the helicopter behind the one that was hit.

In an interview with Stars and Stripes, he said: "I don't know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another."

Conflate means "to confuse" or "to combine (as two readings of a text) into a composite whole." It comes from the Latin word meaning "to blow together" or "to fuse."



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