September 23, 2010

"Velma Hart, an Obama supporter who, employing an O'Donnellesque unidiomatic preposition, told the president she was 'exhausted of defending you.'"

Ha ha. James Taranto is, like me, distracted by the wrong preposition. (I said, about O'Donnell: "It bugs me more that she says 'dabbled into' than that she actually did it (or claimed to).") Taranto is writing about Margaret Carlson's response to Hart, which is important because Carlson "personifies liberal Beltway conventionality."

47 comments:

TosaGuy said...

I plan my afternoon breaks around reading Taranto's Best of the Web.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sydney said...

When people who are not trained to speak in public make an error like this, we should cut them some slack. It's very easy to mix up your phrases between the time they form in your brain to the time they escape from your mouth. She was probably thinking "I am tired of defending you" but the word "tired" got changed to "exhausted" on the way to her tongue.

madawaskan said...

And this is his opener?

If he's lost Margaret Carlson, he's lost Middle America. Sorry if you disagree, but somehow, to our mind, that joke just never gets old.

WTH? Does he have a mouse in his pocket-that shares his brain?

Damn it-that leads right back to O'Donnell and mouse brains.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Very few people sound clever ex tempore.

I once heard a Dean of a College of Sciences say "envisionment" when he meant "vision".

It's fine to form a verb from a noun, English is set up to do that. It's not fine to form a noun from a verb that is identical in meaning to the original noun. Educated people are particularly prone to this.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@madawaskan:

to our mind

Editorial "we". It's a perfectly cromulent usage.

the writer has once more cast himself or herself in the role of spokesman: either for the media institution who employs him, or more generally on behalf of the party or body of citizens who agree with the commentary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We

wv: "scrabio" Under Scrabio rules, "cromulent" is cromulent.

Michael said...

The language and the culture crash together, I suppose. Do others note the use of the expression "on accident" employed by young people? Not, "by accident," but "on accident." It is quite prevalent I believe. When did it start? Why?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Well it's sounds cromulunt alright.

Archaic and curmudgeonly as hell to get all hung up on one little word.

"Of", give me a break as if somehow that fogged the meaning of what she was saying.

Gawd that kind of tedium is-distracting.

I bet Taranto is over 50-in fact I'm almost ready to bet on it.

btw-who the hell appointed him the spokesperson of "we"?

[I am just feigning outrage-I have a weird sense of humor. ]

madawaskan said...

Hey let me really over analyze the hell out of it.

She suffers from aphasia and replaced exhausted with tired.

*Tired* of defending you.

See all fixed.

Next!

madawaskan said...

Damnit!

Lost my own bet. The poor bugger is only 44.

Maguro said...

Overusing the "royal we" is kind of a running joke over at Best of the Web, I wouldn't get too worked up about it.

Seven Machos said...

I read Best of the Web every day for years and, like Instapundit and Althouse and a few other people, I allowed James Taranto to inform my worldview on a daily basis.

Then, one day, Best of the Web stopped coming to my inbox. I have tried to figure out how to subscribe a couple times, to no avail.

So, to James Taranto: what the fuck, dude? To everyone else: how do you subscribe now?

Seven Machos said...

Also, wherein Gabriel Hanna demonstrates that he needs to get out more.

Seven Machos said...

And Madawaskan

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Michael:

Not, "by accident," but "on accident." It is quite prevalent I believe. When did it start? Why?

Know what I hear a lot? "Based off of." What's wrong with "based on"?

Know what can be cut out of nearly any sentence? "Due to the fact that." "The fact that" is problematic enough, but I can see why people use it; sometimes it's hard to make the subject of your sentence clear without it. But "due to the fact that" seems to me equivalent to "because".

mesquito said...

I was heard the Superintendant of a large urban school district (He haD a PhD in education!) say "affluential."

madawaskan said...

Maguro

Thanks for the info, but I was just having fun feigning outrage.

Actually Taranto is pretty damn good.

*******************

Unfortunately as luck would have it just found something not so fun.

Mark Levin is on a witch hunt against Chris Christie for being a squish.

Levin's proof, Christie is supposedly too soft on immigration and has not campaigned for one Tea Party candidate.

Like the Girl Next Door in Delaware.

Christie the guy that is turning around a corrupt,over taxed indebted cesspool like New Jersey.

He has to be driven out.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Seven Machos:

Also, wherein Gabriel Hanna demonstrates that he needs to get out more.

I backed you up on the Constitution, buddy, against j1pb, and you and I agree on a hell of things.

Of course everything that you find interesting, EVERYBODY finds interesting. There is nothing you are interested in, or passionate about, that other people don't think is dumb, amirite?

Hagar said...

I thought that Mrs. Hart did just fine, and that the hostile flash of the teeth in response was very telling.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Mark Levin:

Mark Levin is on a witch hunt against Chris Christie for being a squish.

Yeah, Levin is an ideological purity guy.

I think O'Donnell is a loonie. And I'm glad she got the primary nomination. Because I think it woke the Republicans up--they have to get with the program. They can't just run on "not Obama". Totally worth a Senate seat to see that.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Gabriel-

I once saw Levin referred to as an over agitated Kermit the Frog, seems to fit.

*****

Gah! I can't think of them right now but it seems like there are certain phrases that are almost always a "tell" that the writer is a Liberal.

Ezra Klein comes to mind as an example of someone that uses Liberal language.

madawaskan said...

Sixty Grit-

Try-"on line" vs. "in line"...

Gabriel Hanna said...

@madawaskan:

Gah! I can't think of them right now but it seems like there are certain phrases that are almost always a "tell" that the writer is a Liberal.

community
diversity
educate
voices
create a space for
change
progressive
dialogue
transgressive
privileging
discursive

It's the new langue de bois; the old one was full of words like "bourgeois" and "revisionist".

Christopher Hitchens:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/22/books/review/22HITCHEN.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

The French, as it happens, once evolved an expression for this sort of prose: la langue de bois, the wooden tongue, in which nothing useful or enlightening can be said, but in which various excuses for the arbitrary and the dishonest can be offered. ''The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism'' is a pointer to the abysmal state of mind that prevails in so many of our universities. In another unconsciously funny entry, on the Kenyan Marxist Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Nicholas Brown appears to praise his subject for a postcolonial essay entitled ''On the Abolition of the English Department.'' Like the other contributors to this shabby volume, Brown ought to be more careful of what he endorses. The prospect of such an abolition, at least in the United States, becomes more appetizing by the minute.

edutcher said...

Criticize the woman as we may, the issue is not her poor choice of a preposition; the fact remains that a black woman got in Barack Obama's face and dissed him.

He is losing his most core constituency. The woman, however affluent, is worried about going back to the days when she and her husband had to pinch pennies (like a great many Americans). People like her may not go out on the first Tuesday in November and vote Republican, but, if this is an indication of black sentiment, they may stay home in sufficient numbers to even deliver the Senate.

madawaskan may joke about losing Margaret Carlson, but losing Velma Hart may represent a quantum shift in election dynamics this year.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

Love the crappy Britishism, in hospital, at university, having a lie in (sleeping in), must dash, ta!

madawaskan said...

Gabriel-

Discursive!

I love Hitch. Thanks for the link.

************

Sixty Grit-

That reminds me some Canadians will say-

"put on the lights" or something mixed up like that-it's in the more bilingual areas.

as they have never experienced a non-man-made portion of the planet,

Ha!

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LonewackoDotCom said...

TosaGuy says: I plan my afternoon breaks around reading Taranto's Best of the Web.

I'm frantically searching for a sarcasm tag, but I don't see one. Does Althouse have a sarcasm tag filter or something?

Here's an example of James Taranto lying.

Pogo said...

Consumers are exhausted, too:

"One of the things that most startled Beemer was how many consumers were responding to the survey questions with political answers. For example, some said they were planning to spend less this holiday season because they were concerned about massive government debt and because the country was heading in the wrong direction, as opposed to being fearful for their jobs or overburdened by their own personal debt.

To put these results into perspective, when Beemer polled consumers two years ago, during the financial crisis, consumers planned to spend less by a ratio of 3-to-1. This year, the responses are negative by a ratio of about 4-to-1—something Beemer hasn't seen in the more than 25 years he has been conducting this holiday survey.

According to Beemer, many of the Americans he surveyed were also concerned about new foreclosures that they are seeing in their neighborhood and the feeling that their local economies are not improving.

Beemer said he expects the dismal forecast may moderate somewhat as the holiday approaches, but even if that occurs, it may not be good news for retailers, especially those who are feeling more optimistic about consumer spending.
"


Heckuva job, Barry!

holdfast said...

Try dealing with Newfs (people from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador):

-"What'reya afta?" means "What task have you just completed?"

-"Pass me tem gagles" means "hand me those [spectacles][binoculars][night visions goggles][safety glasses]"

-"Gimme da gasax" means "Give me the chainsaw".

-"Arntcha sookie today? means "You appear to be in a snit today".

AJ Lynch said...

Gabriel:
Don't forget liberal pols use revenue [our tax money] to make "needed investments". I think Bill Clinton may have been one of the first to use the "investment" ruse.

Synova said...

"They can't just run on "not Obama"."

Why ever not? Obama ran on "not Bush."

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Synova:

Why ever not? Obama ran on "not Bush."

And how do the people who voted for him feel about that now?

Besides, since when is "Obama did it" a justification for anything. Me, I've decided to replace France with the Obamas as the butt end of my moral compass.

wv: "chibless": how you feel when your steak comes with a side of apple chips instead of fries, as Michelle Obama believes it should do.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/09/michelle-obama-obesity-restaurant-menus.html

Pogo said...

I prefer the candidate who claims to be both "not Obama" and "not Bush".

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I'm inclined to cut her some slack. Not everybody has a teleprompter, after all.

Her usage is kind of fascinating, though. I don't know if I could explain to a non-native speaker what's wrong with it. Either you know the idiom, or you don't. Another example I heard from a linguist once: how do you explain to a non-native that "gonna" substitutes for "going to" in "I'm going to leave", but not in "I'm going to Chicago"? Either you know the idiom, or you don't.

wv: haind. If she had written her notes on her haind, this would've never happened.

Gene said...

Mesquito: I was heard the Superintendant of a large urban school district (He haD a PhD in education!) say "affluential."

Too bad he wasn't actually trying to coin a word (instead of trying to sound educated) because it's actually a pretty good combination--affluent and influential.

Herb said...

To holdfast @ 1005 pm

I can only say:

"Laird tunderin' jezus by..."

wv: sulanc

He waited in sulanc, thick enough to blind even the deaf...

Alex said...

Blah blah blah at the end of the day Obama worshiper Velma Hart is still gonna vote for Obama in 2012. Her exasperations fall on my stone heart. She can really really really go to hell.

c3 said...

Gosh, I'm about to agree with Alex... anyway....

I enjoyed Tunku Varadarajan's column on the incident in the Daily Beast. As a conservative columnist he said all of the expected things but finished up with this:

Velma Hart wants change; she wants it celebrated, and she doesn't want to have to point out the problems. In a way she's right: It's exhausting trying to say to everyone “Come on, give it time, he's not a miracle worker.” But she's also spoiled and disillusioned, because she's starting to realize that she voted for a miracle worker, and that she was taken in by her illusions.

And yet—I have not a shred of doubt that she will vote for Obama in 2012. Illusions have a stubborn way of living on.

c3 said...

In a related historical note:

from Wikipedia:

the bill (Medicare Prescription benefit) itself was finally passed 54-44 on November 25, 2003

Key votes in House: Butch Otter (ID-1) (Mr. Otter is now Governor of Idaho. He supports a balanced budget amendment to the US constitution), Trent Franks (AZ-2) (Mr. Franks is still in the House. The National Journal has ranked Franks among the "most conservative" members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.)

Key votes in the Senate:

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trent Lott (R-MS)


As far as the bill:
As of February 2009, the projected net cost of the program over the 2006 to 2015 period was $549.2 billion

So like Ms. Hart, many Republicans/Conservatives were/are disappointed in the 108th Congress and President Bush for increasing the deficit with this bill. Many still voted for the President and those Republican members of Congress in 2004 (and later).

grandrants said...

Anybody but me notice that the name Velma Hart sounds suspiciously like a combination of the characters Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly from the musical, Chicago?

Also:

Michael said:
...Do others note the use of the expression "on accident" employed by young people? Not, "by accident," but "on accident." It is quite prevalent I believe. When did it start? Why?

It's the opposite of "on purpose", silly!

9/23/10 8:00 PM

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nichevo said...

re: Chicago, lol/meh

re: Medicare-D, I supported it at the time and AFAIK support it warily now for two reasons: 1) because I believed Bush was pursuing a policy of domestic conciliation via pork and goo-goo tolerance, the better to have a free hand with the war and other major initiatives, and 2) my understanding is that because we are already on the hook for 70-yo Mr. Public's gastric surgery, treating Mr. Public with drugs instead may be far less expensive, offer better net outcomes in many cases, and should certainly be tried first if amenable. IOW it should save, should have saved, more money than it costs.

Now is this true? I don't know...

TW: fosiviv. I am not fosiviv about Part D being a net savings to the taxpayer, but thought it should be.

Nichevo said...

Oh yes, I reject much of what you crazy kids are doing to English today, but I do cling warmly to "Way!" After all brevity is the soul of wit.