Heather Wilhelm at National Review explains:
How to Tell If You Are Part of a Mob
This shouldn’t be that hard to explain.
During the final, torturous week in which our nation collectively lost its marbles over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, I happened to be out of the country. This was a fantastic decision on my part — one could not feel the surge of unhinged panic in France, where people just kind of sauntered around as usual, smoking cigarettes, and looking vaguely aloof — but I also apparently missed some very exciting news.
One of the most thrilling things I missed, or so I am told, involved an exhaustive national debate over the meaning of mysterious terms in Brett Kavanaugh’s high-school yearbook. “Devil’s Triangle.” “Boof.” It was wild! It was like decoding the prophecies of Nostradamus, or at least the Rosetta Stone!
Alas, “boof” is already gone, scattered from the national consciousness, a proverbial dandelion seed soaring away on the wind of a thousand pundits. Luckily for me, however, our nation’s vocabularic controversies continue, with the latest fevered question bubbling up everywhere from Twitter to the New York Times to NPR: What exactly is the meaning of the word “mob”?
Divorced from its ultimate meaning, the word “mob” — like “boof,” or “barf,” or “bamboozle,” or “aquifer” — is kind of inherently funny. But that truth is neither here nor there, and is probably best left to our inquisitive friends in the greater field of mob linguistics. After all, the actual debate over the word “mob,” happening as we speak, is not very funny at all.
A mob, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.” In case you haven’t noticed, mobs are quite hot right now. The Kavanaugh confirmation brought out mobs in droves, whether they were tearing up pro-Republican signs, attempting to claw down the doors of the Supreme Court like a herd of underfed velociraptors, or shrieking in unison at senators who dare to step out in public.