Orators take special care when using epithets as to not use them as smear words. Orators could be accused of racial or abusive epithets if used incorrectly. American journalist William Safire discussed the use of the word in a 2008 New York Times column: "'I am working on a piece about nationalism with a focus on epithet as a smear word,' writes David Binder, my longtime Times colleague, 'which was still a synonym for 'delineation' or 'characterization' in my big 1942 Webster’s but now seems to be almost exclusively a synonym for ‘derogation’ or ‘smear word.’ . . In the past century, [epithet] blossomed as 'a word of abuse,' today gleefully seized upon to describe political smears."