The Oxford Dictionary inserted itself into a political debate in India after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi claimed that the there was a new word in the English language "Modilie", targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "constantly modifying the truth".
Tweeting a photoshopped screenshot of the dictionary's website, Mr Gandhi said, "There's a new word in the English Dictionary".
Replying to Mr Gandhi's tweet, Oxford Dictionary said the image he shared was "fake" and "does not exist".
We can confirm that the image showing the entry 'Modilie' is fake and does not exist in any of our Oxford Dictionaries.- Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) May 16, 2019
Though Mr Gandhi did not name Oxford Dictionary, the screenshot shared by Mr Gandhi showed a website that resembled that of celebrated publication's, complete with an ad for the Congress.
"To constantly Modify the truth," said one of the definitions inside the screenshot shared by Mr Gandhi, a play on words using the Prime Minister's surname to indicate what the Congress has termed his habit of not speaking the truth on a number of issues.
Another definition inside the screenshot said the word meant "to lie incessantly and habitually", while another said "Modilie" meant "to lie without respite".
The screenshot also cheekily termed "Modilie" as a "mass noun", a noun which denotes something that cannot be counted and which does not have a plural word in ordinary usage, according to the Oxford Dictionary.
Doubling down on the campaign, Mr Gandhi also tweeted on Thursday the link to a website which he said "catalogues the best Modilies!"
'Modilie' is a new word that's become popular worldwide. Now there's even a website that catalogues the best Modilies! https://t.co/Ct04DlRsj3- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 16, 2019
"'Modilie' is a new word that's become popular worldwide," he said in the tweet.
The Congress chief's invective was slammed by BJP supporters.
Amit Malviya, head of the BJP IT cell, retweeted Oxford Dictionary's tweet.
Slapped. https://t.co/tGMMa09ydf- Chowkidar Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) May 16, 2019
In 2017, Rahul Gandhi had launched an attack on Union Minister Arun Jaitley, modifying his surname as "Jetlie". The BJP had then accused Mr Gandhi of "intentionally twisting" Mr Jaitley's name.
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