Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wake Up and Smell the Covfefe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wake Up and Smell the Covfefe

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst @phoebeluckhurst

INADVERTENTLY, Donald Trump is one of the great wits of our age. Accidentally, he is a comic of viral proportions, a quippy commentator of global esteem. His USP? An unmastery of his modern medium, Twitter, where he serves topical aphorisms in the manner of a modern, illiterate Oscar Wilde. And this morning, the world delighted in his latest -- a non sequitur shared at around 4am GMT. "Despite the constant negative press covfefe", the leader tweeted. The editors of the Merriam-Webster dictionary responded: "Wakes up. Checks Twitter. Lookups fo... Regrets checking Twitter. Goes back to bed." Meanwhile, Urban Dictionary defined the word as "When you want to say 'coverage' but your hands are too small to hit all the letters on the keyboard."

Urban Dictionary defines "when want 'coverage' " It is a characteristic gaffe, though at this stage it is debatable whether or not something that happens so regularly can still be termed a gaffe.

but hands too Trump has not yet followed up, though he might have to, for thanks to the velocity of virality, an online misstep paces across the world in seconds, and thousands of amateur commentators have gleefully stepped up to fill the President's resounding silence. One riffed on the brainwashed press secretary Sean's Spicer's likely reaction ("Tomorrow Sean Spicer: 'Good morning. Covfefe for being here today'"), another shared a picture of her dad, who overnight bought the number plate "COVFEFE". At this rate, "covfefe" almost certainly has a shot at the OED's word of the year. Most suspect that he was indeed trying to write the word "coverage", but that spell-check -- or his small, adipose hands -- mangled it.

Covfefe enters into a grand tradition of similar online misspeaks. Trump is a serial offender -- commentators point to the time he misspelled "unprecedented" when criticising China ("China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters -- rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act") and inadvertently invoked his own chief deficiency (Trump is nothing if not unpresidential), or the time he tried to tweet his daughter Ivanka, but instead bleated at some poor woman in Brighton with the same first name. …

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