Word of the Day – May 21, 2012

bemuse (verb)


to confuse or bewilder

Well before the war every German knew the sound of Hitler’s voice from his ranting orations, but the Russians didn’t know Stalin’s voice until he broadcast for the first time, after the Soviet Union was invaded, in July of 1941. His listeners must have been taken aback by his Georgian accent, just as the Japanese were bemused by their Emperor’s lilting court intonation when he broadcast for the first time, after the bombing of Hiroshima, announcing the coming surrender in the memorably meiotic words, “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.”
Geoffrey Wheatcroft     March 2001

… from More Words That Make A Difference

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