December 10, 2008

"Don't call me unfair. Don't even mention my name in the same sentence with that adjective."

Geoffrey K. Pullum is outraged by linguification. Like this:
... Condoleezza Rice [said], "To mention Robert Mugabe in the same sentence with the President of the United States is an outrage." No it isn't.

23 comments:

tim maguire said...

Ehh, much ado about nothing.

Obviously, what Rice is objecting to is the comparison of Bush with Mugabe (which may or may not have happened, the essay is unclear). The "same sentence" construction is just a common phrasing used to convey the idea.

What say we call it an idiom? And since, as William Safire says, idioms are always correct, we can just move on.

Original George said...

I heard this interview on NPR earlier today.

It was a classic with the interviewer going on and on about how so very many people all around the world think that President Bush just destroyed and ruined America's reputation.

Criminy.

AJ Lynch said...

NPR reporters will wear their rose-colored glasses again on Jan.20th?

I think some have already tested them out.

traditionalguy said...

Contrasting two word images side by side, so to speak, can also be seen as a Mind Control suggestion and not just a cute idiom or speech pattern. I Never underesimate the power of a language to implant usable image tools into the subconscious of Controlees for later use. What image du jour will The New York Times enchant us with today?

ricpic said...

To outlaw linguification would be tantamount to outlawing Leftspeak; and that, Sir, would be no outrage!

AlphaLiberal said...

I heard that. Condi was definitely on the attack, attacking instead of answering questions.

Good to see Bush has spoken out against Mugabe. Has he before?

And, the international public opinion polls are very clear that US standing has plummeted under George Bush. Apparently, people don't like belligerence. Huh.

On some cable news show this week there was a quote of some African dictator saying he would miss Bush. Couldn't find it just now...

Palladian said...

"I heard that. Condi was definitely on the attack, attacking instead of answering questions."

Just like you!

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Let's see the context...

Dr Rice But I'm going to tell you, when you're facing, every day, anthrax attacks, and when you're facing, every day, a threat matrix as thick as your phone book about what the next attack might be, if you have a legal way to get information to prevent those attacks, you have an obligation to do it.

National Palestino Radio Are you — but are you worried about you, personally, though? Because there were all these reports that you were involved in pretty thorough discussions about techniques to get information out.

Dr Rice I was national security adviser, and, quite clearly, you would expect the policies of the United States to come through the National Security Council. But I absolutely was — believed and was told and continued to believe that we were doing so under our treaty obligations and under our domestic laws. And in those circumstances, I really do think that the president of the United States and those responsible, in positions of responsibility, have an obligation to try and protect the American people.

National Palestino Radio A lot of this — Guantanamo, all these issues — you start hearing from people, bad actors in the world, people like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, he brings up these issues at the United Nations General Assembly floor. And I wonder if you think some of this made it more difficult for you as the secretary of state to talk about human rights.

Dr Rice No, of course not. Robert Mugabe — to mention Robert Mugabe in the same sentence with the president of the United States is an outrage.

It is. To be lectured by Mugabe about Guantanamo and WOT tactics is an outrage.

http://tinyurl.com/5rfgtj

paul a'barge said...

NPR.

One of my greatest disappointments with having put Republicans in charge of everything before 2006 was that they never did anything about jerking NPR off the public tax $$ tit.

It's one of the reasons I really don't call myself a Republican anymore. Dogs and fleas, the lot of them.

Lem said...

Here is what Sir Bob Geldof says about Bush's legacy.

The Most Powerful Man in the World studied the front cover. Geldof in Africa — " 'The international best seller.' You write that bit yourself?"

"That's right. It's called marketing. Something you obviously have no clue about or else I wouldn't have to be here telling people your Africa story."

It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration.


http://tinyurl.com/2do5n4

SteveR said...

Its willful blindness to not know how much good Bush has done in Africa. You can justifiably downgrade every other damn thing he's ever done but not that.

As for the language, I am entirely sure I know exactly what she meant. Comminication trumps language.

SteveR said...

trumps spelling too...

EDH said...

Sure, but when it's a cunning linguification she always smiles.

tim maguire said...

Well lem, it looks like Bush is unconcerned about earning AlphaLiberal's vote. Can't say as I blame him.

traditionalguy, you completely misunderstood my post, but we agree on the point I think you're making.

Chip Ahoy said...

Pullman is correct, there isn't anything wrong with mentioning Bush and Mugabe in the same sentence, although it's ridiculous to be outraged by someone saying otherwise.

I'd like to hold open the availability of mentioning NPR in the same sentence with dinosaurs, or Dodo birds, tasmanian tigers, buggy whips, sleigh skis, egg beaters, stone calendars, snuff boxes, stone cylinder seals, pocket watches

Lem said...

After watching the documentary "Dear Zachary : A Letter to a Son About his Father" last saturday, I believe I thought of a linguification or two.

The outrageously deficient Canadian justice system (you have to watch the doc) and the libs that said they would move to there if Bush won. Like Canada was haven on earth.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036750/

Lem said...

Here is more.

http://www.dearzachary.com/

Michael said...

Lem: "To be lectured by Mugabe about Guantanamo and WOT tactics is an outrage."

True, but that would make more sense if not for the others, including many world leaders east and west...who say exactly the same things.

It's a tad late to defend Bush via the messenger.

Michael said...

The Chipper: "I'd like to hold open the availability of mentioning NPR in the same sentence with dinosaurs, or Dodo birds, tasmanian tigers, buggy whips, sleigh skis, egg beaters, stone calendars, snuff boxes, stone cylinder seals, pocket watches."

Speaking of mental dinosaurs...

I realize you actually think Fox News is God's answer to pertinent information, but...not really.

Michael said...

SteveR said..."Comminication trumps language."

Now THAT IS FUNNY.

Synova said...

SteveR said..."Comminication trumps language."

Now THAT IS FUNNY.



I don't get the punchline, Michael. Perhaps you could explain?

It seemed more a truism than a joke to me. Language is subordinate to the task it's meant to perform - communication. It has no value without that task.

Freeman Hunt said...

Speaking of dinosaurs, I saw this amazing photo of a dinosaur footprint with a human foodprint in it...