Trend Watch


A knife that was purportedly found at the estate of O.J. Simpson is in the news and has 'purportedly' spiking

It's been more than 20 years since the world watched a low-speed car chase involving police in pursuit of former football star O.J. Simpson, but now an object related to the murders that instigated that chase is in the news. Its description has been qualified by a word used especially in legal contexts to make it clear that not all the facts are in.

The word is purportedly, as in "a knife purportedly found years ago on the property where O.J. Simpson was living." It's one of those adverbs that means an entire sentence, in this case "it is purported," or, in simpler words, "it is said to be true or real but is not definitely true or real."

Purportedly is used to soften statements, to remind the reader or listener that no facts are being presented, only ideas that may possibly be facts. Other words that do this same job are ostensibly and allegedly.

There was also an increase in lookups for the phrase double jeopardy.

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