The word doesn't mean that, of course, even though that's what most writers think it means; it means something closer to "confused."
Webster's New World:
bemuseThe standard copy-editor trick is to change bemused to amused, and indeed that's about the best we can do, but I find it not quite satisfactory. We need a word that means "quietly and slightly amused."
1. to muddle or stupefy
2. to plunge in thought; preoccupy: usually in the passive voice
The hint of "official" makes this an understandable mistake, but the word actually means almost the opposite.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
volunteering one's services where they are neither asked nor neededThe American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
Marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others.Webster's New World does hint at some overlap with the mistaken meaning (my italics):
offering unnecessary and unwanted advice or services; meddlesome, esp. in a highhanded or overbearing wayBizarrely, in the world of diplomacy, officious flies in the face of the "official" thing even more, meaning "informal or unofficial."
If you're a whoremonger, doesn't that mean you really, really enjoy using the services of whores? Fishmonger? You crave seafood.
A -monger, of course, is a seller, so a whoremonger is actually a pimp, but aren't many or most uses of powermonger intended to mean "power hound" rather than "power broker"?
The brilliant singer-songwriter Joe Pernice sings of an ex-girlfriend as a "life-sucking powermonger," which obviously means desiring power rather than doling it out. The error isn't limited to pop music. From CanadianChristianity.com:
Ncube's presentation suggested that the Zimbabwean president is a "powermonger . . . who is prepared to kill for power."From Slate:
Essentially, [Dr.] Strangelove is the story of a few deluded powermongers who destroy the world because they can't admit they're wrong.From a letter to the editor in Florida Today:
One has to wonder how different our country would be today if George W. Bush had listened to his wife, his father and mother instead of Don Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes, Karl Rove and Andrew Card. It's obvious that none of those powermongers were looking after the best interests of Bush or our country.A headline in Crain's Chicago Business:
Rant control: Control freaks, opinionated nonconformists and powermongers make condo association meetings the scene of fireworks-and the occasional fistfightI've known the true meaning of fishmonger and the like for decades now, but I still think mong just screams craving and desire, as in "I'm really monging some fish right now -- let's go to McCormick and Schmick's!"