The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to a lot of changes in the United States in the past week. Schools and universities have closed or moved online, sports leagues have been suspended, and cities and states have imposed bans on businesses and public gatherings.
The coronavirus spread has also caused a lot of misinformation to circulate, and on March 16, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio attempted to straighten out some rumors going around about martial law.
He tweeted: “Please stop spreading stupid rumors about marshall law. COMPLETELY FALSE. We will continue to see closings & restrictions on hours of non-essential businesses in certain cities & states. But that is NOT marshall law.”
Sen. Rubio’s tweet, which was meant to reassure Americans and set the record straight about martial law, actually caused the Twittersphere to respond in some hilarious ways due to his misspelled use of martial law as marshall law.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Stepped In to Explain the Difference Between Marshall and Martial
The Merriam-Webster dictionary had to set the record straight:
The tweet reads: “‘Martial’: an adjective referring to an army or to military life; ‘Marshal’: a noun or verb, often used in reference to an officer or the act of leading; ‘Marshall’: a variant of ‘marshal,’ usually found in proper nouns.”
Another user explained their own definitions of the two words:
The tweet reads: “Martial Law is when the military starts policing civilians. Marshall Law is when civilian disputes must be settled via rap battles.”
Many Users Joked About Marshall Law Being the New Eminem Album
Many joked about the tweet, making reference to Eminem possibly dropping a new album, or what “Marshall Law” could mean in Eminem’s terms.
The tweet reads: “Marshall Law is trending and I thought Eminem had released a new song…”
Another joked: “BREAKING: Marshall Mathers (aka Eminem) is now the supreme leader of America, amidst calls to institute Marshall Law.”
One user pointed out that Sen. Rubio’s typo may have actually helped to spread the message further than it would have normally reached.
He wrote: “It’s a funny spelling mistake, but Rubio is right to be trying to calm people susceptible to misinformation. The typo may actually boost the signal.”
Last night, the National Security Council (NSC) took to Twitter to warn users about fake national quarantine or national lockdown text messages that were circulating. They wrote: “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown. [The CDC] has and will continue to post the latest guidance on [COVID-19 coronavirus].”