The word “historical,” according to Oxford Dictionaries, refers to past events. “Historic” means an event that is very important. They are used in different ways because they don’t mean the same thing.
Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire who has been tapped by President Trump to be his education secretary — and who underwent a contentious confirmation hearing on Jan. 17 — apparently didn’t get the historic/historical usage memo, as evidenced by this tweet she sent out at 3:44 p.m. on Friday during the inauguration festivities:
Minutes after The Washington Post published this article at 5:30 p.m., pointing out the use of “historical”, DeVos deleted the original tweet and sent a new one, using the correct word, at 5:38 p.m.:
She also published a tweet blaming her staff for the error.
Some people on Twitter were all too happy to correct her original version — some blasted her for blaming her staff:
This article was updated to reflect that DeVos deleted her original tweet.