Forensic linguistics: The “lodestar” tell…

I thought that the NY Times’ anonymously written I Am Part of the Resistance op-ed  was pretty vacuous.


I was expecting a bombshell and got “where’s the beef?”

But, as a faithful Forensic Files viewer, I did get some amusement from the op-ed…


On “Files”, investigators always dissect ransom notes, etc., for clues to a perp’s identity.

Usually, it’s a challenge … trying to identify recurring tell-tale patterns in the perp’s prior writings.

“Anonymous”, though left a conspicuous “tell” …

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.

“Lodestar” ???

My vocab is pretty robust, but I had to run to the inline dictionary.

Merriam-Webster definition of lodestar. (1) archaic : a star that leads or guides; especially : north star. (2): one that serves as an inspiration, model, or guide.

So, which “Senior Administration Official” has previously used the word lodestone in prior writings and speeches?

BINGO: numerous sources quickly landed on VP Mike Pence … but couldn’t find the word in other officials’ vocab.

The BBC has a nice recap  to Pence clips using the word.


But, would Pence be so dumb as to flaunt the word when trying to be anonymous?

Maybe, it was one of Pence’s speechwriters

A good forensic test would be to see if Pence used the word lodestar before he hooked up with his current speechwriters.

Or, maybe it was a “false flag” planted by somebody else who wanted to pin the op-ed on Pence … another level of anonymity protection.

Or, maybe it’s just fake news…

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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