Corroboratively vs. Collaboratively
A reader has brought my attention to an odd use of the word corroboratively in a job description for a communications specialist position:
Work corroboratively as a member of an integrated contractor team…
Like the reader, I believe that the recruiter was reaching for the adverb collaboratively, which is the word used to describe the action of working with others in a cooperative manner.
In my search for additional examples of this misuse, I did not find many, but corroboratively, often spelled “corrobatively,” does appear in other job descriptions published by recruiters, including several from the UK and one from Australia:
You will work corroboratively with the Directors and other Managers…
Work corrobatively [sic] to support recovery process
A marketing site provided another:
I think probably this has [a lot] to do with the niche and how much [revenue] is in it for them, and is used corrobatively [sic].
The verb corroborate means “to strengthen or confirm.” It cropped up frequently in the old Perry Mason television series:
Can you corroborate his alibi?
If it please the Court, we have corroborating evidence.
The adverb form corroboratively is rarely used, although I did find it in two or three difficult-to-follow interpretations of the Book of Revelation in which the prophecies are seen as an indictment of the petroleum industry:
all prophecy is corrobatively [sic] linked into the energy business…
I’m not certain, but I think this example may have something to do with the idea that the Bible provides supporting evidence for the writer’s views.
So far the rogue use of corroboratively in the sense of cooperatively or collaboratively is rare, but errors travel quickly in cyberspace.
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