This just in from former President George W. Bush, who is planning to write a book:
“I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened.”
Did Bush say authoritarian when he meant authoritative?
These words are markedly different: authoritarian means “requiring unquestioned obedience to authority, dictatorial,” as in His approach to discipline was authoritarian; he would brook no disagreement or discussion whatsoever. Authoritative has no pejorative overtones where it means “reliable, official, well-qualified,” as in She has written the authoritative biography of the poet. The only overlap is in the sense of “being fond of exerting authority,” but authoritarian is much the stronger in that meaning and suggests a less admirable quality. (Columbia Guide to Standard American English)
Or was this just one those, er, Freudian slips?