November 2, 2012

"There's never been a day in the last four years I've been proud to be his vice president."

The Weekly Standard (linked by Drudge) thinks it has a hilarious Biden gaffe, but they've misheard/mistranscribed it. You have to have an ear for the "working class"-style mushing of syllables, but he's saying "There's never been a day in the last four years I haven't been proud to be his vice president." The boldface is spoken: I 'n' been.

IN THE COMMENTS: rhhardin says:
I've listened to the audio at 0.35 speed and it's a precise "I've."...
I disagree.
It's an east-coast kind of "n" ... sort of almost "i uh" like the "no" in "uh uh."
rhhardin says:
"n" is voiced and there's no voicing in Biden's 've part.
I note that I grew up in Delaware and I feel I understand the implied "n." And rh gives us his slowed down audio with repetition. I've listened, and I hear a sound after the "I" that I'm sure is the negative. There's this southern Jersey/northern Delaware/Philadelphia dropping of a sound that I can her. There's a muddled verb after the "I" that I just know. Rh says "Call in Language Log," and I will send an email. I think they will believe me. And not just for political reasons.

UPDATE: Language Log responds!

140 comments:

Original Mike said...

Yeah, and Neil Armstrong actually said, "That's one small step for a man, ..."

Really.

gadfly said...

"I 'n' been" makes no sense in any short-cut speak that that I have ever heard or heard of.

As for the 'n' part of the vocal, I did not hear it in the recording.

EMD said...

That Biden is sooo sneaky with his stupid vernacular that no one else uses!

Eric said...

I heard it the way you did Althouse.

SteveR said...

Come esta frijole, Joe. How you been?

Franklin said...

1 heartbeat away.

Revenant said...

"The question is... is 'are children learning'"

"The question is, 'is our children learning'"

The difference between a hilariously stupid remark and unclear speech often depends on the predispositions of the audience.

Carol said...

I figured he was like a lot of Internet commenters who carefully labor over their text but omit the crucial word "not" when submitting it.

It does make a difference.

Val or Bob said...

Still a great lead, true or not. Romney would have been asked to explain for a week if it was his or Ryan's comment.

n said...

I'm with Althouse on this one. There is a mush up in there.

rhhardin said...

I've listened to the audio at 0.35 speed and it's a precise "I've."

Is there an audio that suggests otherwise?

No hint of n's.

EMD said...

Reminds me a bit of this.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Stupid gotcha is stupid.

Coketown said...

Either way it's a stupid remark.

Ann Althouse said...

"No hint of n's."

It's an east-coast kind of "n" ... sort of almost "i uh" like the "no" in "uh uh."

tim maguire said...

Whether he misspoke or not, I'm tired of the silliness. Like Clarence Thomas almost being denied a seat on the court because he once said there was a pubic hair on his coke.

Who could survive this level of mean-spirited scrutiny? Anyone?

Ann Althouse said...

I hear it clearly every time I play it. Clear mush.

Comanche Voter said...

Ol Slow Joe long ago used up all the slack I was ever going to give him Ann. Obviously your mileage varies.

Shouting Thomas said...

You're suggesting it's like Stooge Moe's "n-yuk n-yuk n-yuk?"

Hope to God I've quoted Moe correctly!

Hagar said...

That's the Rhondda Valley dialect?

chickelit said...

It sounds like "eye-ven-ben" to my ear.

EMD said...

Everyone in Scranton talks this way.

rhhardin said...

"n" is voiced and there's no voicing in Biden's 've part.

madAsHell said...

Did NBC edit the tape?

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
I hear it clearly every time I play it. Clear mush."

I believe you think you hear it.

chickelit said...

In any case, Biden proved he was malicious in his debate with Ryan. Palin was a far better VP choice in 2008. I look forward to his retirement next February. Having made so many mistakes, perhaps he can coach his son in politics.

Coketown said...

We'll need to go back to all of Biden's previous gaffes and apply this working-class-syllable-mushing filter. We may discover that he's actually the most brilliant human being alive. Perhaps the most brilliant to ever live. Perhaps.

Ann Althouse said...

"I believe you think you hear it."

No, I'm just used to the way people talk in that part of the country.

I grew up in Delaware.

edutcher said...

Nobody's giving Joe the benefit of the doubt.

Except Ann, kindly soul that she is.

Coketown said...

Maybe we can get Brittany to translate.

Ann Althouse said...

I wasn't being kind. I was ready to laugh at him for another gaffe.

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

Isn't the contraction of "I have not" spelled, "I'ven't"?

Biden = I'ven't the Terrible?

Ann Althouse said...

It's like the way people say "I ay" for "I ain't" which is a distortion of "I am not."

Robert said...

I can clealy hear him saying the n-word under his breath.

madAsHell said...

I've listened to the audio at 0.35 speed and it's a precise "I've."

Engineer much?? Code or circuits?



rhhardin said...

Here's Biden at 0.35 speed repeating the phrase (.mp3, done with Total Recorder and sending output audio into input jack and recording it a few times)

Rob said...

I saw the link on Drudge and without even clicking on it I assumed it was as Ann described. And I think Biden is beyond an idiot.

chickelit said...

here's Biden at 0.35 speed repeating the phrase (.mp3, done with Total Recorder and sending output audio into input jack and recording it a few times)

My brain "n-terpolates" the missing "n".

And if it's missing? This proves?

Where's Penny. I need a drink.

Dante said...

Here's Biden at 0.35 speed repeating the phrase (.mp3, done with Total Recorder and sending output audio into input jack and recording it a few times)

If that's Biden, Ann's right. But who cares about Biden? Every-time I think of him I see a ridiculous, smug, condescending grin at Ryan, now. And that was his doing.

rcommal said...

LOL. I agree with Althouse 100% on this one. Sounds very familiar to me. I wonder if in the course of speech he threw out a "whutr" or other bit if Delawarese in there, too?? He sure as heck has the Delaware diphthong down.

lemondog said...

Had to replay several times but, yeah, the mush is there.

More importantly, is he signaling the impending swan song?

:-)))

rcommal said...

Sorry, but Ann is right.

You can do whatever you want, rhhardin, but what he said was classic and not unique to him.

alan markus said...

So, it was a "clean" & "articulate" statement?

rhhardin said...

Call in Language Log.

dreams said...

I watched it just now on TV and I think The Weekly Standard had it right.

rcommal said...

Alan: Well, no! Heh.

wyo sis said...

Of course he's saying "There's never been a day in the last four years Iv'n'been proud to be his vice president."
I can hear it and I'm from Wyoming where people speak English with no accent what-so-ever.
I wish people would quit picking over the stupid stuff that dribbles out of Joe Biden's mouth.
This post has already given more thought to his drivel than he ever gave.

avwh said...

OK, let's say the NOT is in the mush.

It sure sounds like a retrospective comment, like he knows it's just about over, not like someone invigorated for another 4 years instead of 4 days.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I think our genial hostess is correct.

dreams said...

I know what he meant but I know what I heard too.

rcommal said...

I tease my son all the time: Just because you're moving out there and not just visiting over the summer, it doesn't mean you can't retain your nice clean, Midwestern vowels and articulation! Just like my dad used to nag us when we first moved out there from the Midwest as kids. (Except that I always did talk way too fast.)

Matthew Sablan said...

I hear the same thing Althouse hears. I'm also from Delaware; maybe Biden is talking in Delaware code!

machine said...

"misheard"? Hahahahahaha...nice try

machine said...

and Jeep is moving to China...

bagoh20 said...

No way. I listened over and over. It's a gaffe...or is it? When you've lost Joe,... well you're probably doing something right.

Titus said...

This is enormous.

Total Game Changer.

And Biden is awful and stupid.

thanks,

tits.

bagoh20 said...

"Yea, but I always say what I mean." ~ J. Biden

Matthew Sablan said...

Jeep ad is "factually defensible" and "technically correct" if you bothered to read the fact check instead of just the headline and Pinocchio count, you'd know that.

James Pawlak said...

Mr. Biden was never "working class" as his biography will demonstrate.
Mr. Biden is an ex-Catholic having excommunicated himself by active support of elective abortion.
He was a "draft dodger" during the Viet Nam war.
He is "one heart beat" away from being POTUS.

Seeing Red said...

--and Jeep is moving to China...--

Fiat decided to move part of it to Italy over a year ago.

phx said...

No no no no no. The mainstream media really is unfair.

Amartel said...

Vice presidentin' is hard!

Amartel said...

Even Biden's voting for Romney.

You know who Hillary is voting for.

Clyde said...

Occam's Razor. It's Joe Biden, for heaven's sake. A gaffe is the most likely explanation.

yashu said...

I accept Althouse's interpretation as a plausible way to hear Biden's words.

But please, Althouse, someone, anyone, help me interpret this (via Ace):

Axelrod: “I’ve known him for 20 years. We’ve worked closely for 10 years. I’ve never seen him more exhilarated than he is right now. He believes in what he’s doing. He believes in what he’s fighting for,” the senior campaign strategist said.

“You can see in the speech that he’s delivering — that he, that this is coming from his loins,” Axelrod declared, adding, “I just wanted to say loins. I wanted to see if I could get loins in the story.”


???!!!

Bodacious said...

Sorry, I can't hear this 'n' of which you speak.

Still, it's not a big f'n deal, he just misspoke.

chickelit said...

that he, that this is coming from his loins,

[shudder]

yashu said...

I don't know, I'm terribly tempted to make a terrible tasteless joke right now.

He's been jacking off and coming all over you, America.

Sorry for that image. I denounce myself. But how else are we to interpret Axelrod's words???

James said...

I accept Althouse's interpretation as a plausible way to hear Biden's words.

But please, Althouse, someone, anyone, help me interpret this (via Ace):

Axelrod: “I’ve known him for 20 years. We’ve worked closely for 10 years. I’ve never seen him more exhilarated than he is right now. He believes in what he’s doing. He believes in what he’s fighting for,” the senior campaign strategist said.

“You can see in the speech that he’s delivering — that he, that this is coming from his loins,” Axelrod declared, adding, “I just wanted to say loins. I wanted to see if I could get loins in the story.”

???!!!


It's part of their juvenile narrative now. Didn't Biden promise "the whole load" two days ago?

Crunchy Frog said...

Is that what made Chrissy's leg tingle? His loins?

chickelit said...

Sorry for that image. I denounce myself. But how else are we to interpret Axelrod's words???

It could be that it just took a load off his mind. Does he write for Biden too?

Methadras said...

So pathetic that any of you would stoop to this level to parse whatever the vice president says. He's a fucking moron, grow up and stop listening to slowed down audio so you can go nya nya. Fucking children.

Strelnikov said...


On the other hand, he might just be an idiot.

phx said...

No, he's a libtard.

phx said...

No, he's a retard

mccullough said...

How much more qualified was Dick Cheney than Biden. Can you imagine Biden being President. Is there anyone who thinks Biden is anything but a slightly above average intelligence blowhard with very little grasp of any important issue.

harrogate said...

A thread like a series of belches.

AllenS said...

Why waste time, laughing at an idiot's speech impediments? Makes no sense to me.

rcommal said...

I didn't have to parse, stooped or otherwise. I've understood verbalizations akin to that for, oh, nigh in 40 years now. It took me one listen to recognize it. ; )

edutcher said...

On the subject of last stands, Michael Barone joins Karl Rove in calling it for the Romster.

PS Much as I respect Mr Barone, whom I think a very astute man, I think the Romster will take the 5 states he gives to Barry.

Ann Althouse said...

I wasn't being kind. I was ready to laugh at him for another gaffe.

Yes, Madame, you were merely donning your Cruella Neutrality masque, but I give you credit for integrity and a good heart.

ricpic said...

Stand up, Chuck! God luvya.

chickelit said...

harrogate said...
A thread like a series of belches.

Taste the gusto!

EMD said...

Funny, Slowed Joe Biden sounds like drunk Jeff Goldblum!

edutcher said...

And on the subject of foot-in-mouth disease, we have this sterling sentiment from David Axelrod.

chickelit said...

@harrogate: I'll have you know that my "shudder" at 5:53 was an allusion to "Leda and the Swan."

Where is Synova?

EMD said...

"It's like the way people say "I ay"

I could see if you were Cockney, but .. c'mon.

yashu said...

So many other tasteless jokes come to mind. But I've got a bit of a reputation to maintain here (even under a pseudonym/ mask), so I'll resist. As an ostensible lady.

I'll have to make them elsewhere.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Joe said "I ain't been proud" with the "ain't" coming out without much n or t but certainly no v.

EMD said...

And on the subject of foot-in-mouth disease, we have this sterling sentiment from David Axelrod.


Are they girded or ungirded?

EMD said...

Which reminds me of the word "unbridled."

It's often used to describe a high level of enthusiasm.

But has anyone used the word "bridled" in reference to low enthusiasm?

chickelit said...

But has anyone used the word "bridled" in reference to low enthusiasm?

In an equestrian context, yes.

chickelit said...

@EDM: "Reckless" and "feckless" are two examples of what are called_____, words having fossilized antonyms.

Clyde said...

The big question is whether Axelrod's gonna have to shave off his porn-stache if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania?

Obama certainly has surrounded himself with creepy people. Axelrod, Carney, that creepy "hand" guy...

chickelit said...

Yashu sighs: But I've got a bit of a reputation to maintain here (even under a pseudonym/ mask), so I'll resist. As an ostensible lady.

I thought the joke became you.

chickelit said...

Clyde said...
The big question is whether Axelrod's gonna have to shave off his porn-stache if Obama loses Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania?

His stoner high school photo was even better.


EMD said...

So pathetic that any of you would stoop to this level to parse whatever the vice president says. He's a fucking moron, grow up and stop listening to slowed down audio so you can go nya nya. Fucking children.


Maybe we're just having fun. Chill out.

Matt said...

Why try to parse it? This is just a chance for light-hearted, snarky banter amongst the commenters here...

So, either he did in fact say the n-word he intended but slurred it or he didn't say it.

So, he's drunk or stupid.

OR!

He's both.

I'm just glad it wasn't a conservative because, regardless of whether the word was enunciated or not, the liberals definitely would have heard the n-word.

Interestingly, they hear Biden saying it now. Maybe that is the difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals always hear the n-words and conservatives don't.

yashu said...

I thought the joke became you.

Heh. Thanks, I think?

No one can accuse me of lacking a smutty mind.

ricpic said...

You bridle at a cutting or demeaning comment. Bridle and bristle are close in meaning.

machine said...

All ya need is Dick "the genius" Morris calling it for Romney the Liar...


ricpic said...

That Methadras comment is so out of character I figure he ate something that's backing up on him, or repeating on him, or speeding up on him.

chickelit said...

ricpic said...
That Methadras comment is so out of character I figure he ate something that's backing up on him, or repeating on him, or speeding up on him.

Whichever end it came out, it was nasty.

AaronS said...

Gaffes are stupid. Let's stop spending time on them.

V is also voiced.

Rusty said...

machine said...
and Jeep is moving to China..

No. Italy.
You haven't been paying attention.

Rusty said...

machine said...
and Jeep is moving to China..

No. Italy.
You haven't been paying attention.

kcom said...

"I grew up in Delaware."

I have serious doubts about whether Delaware even exists. It sounds made up.

wyo sis said...

That Methadres comment seems completely in character based on the comments of the last few days. Maybe he/she/its off his/her/it's meds.

Foobarista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jdniner said...

You would spend political time on the gaffe because it polarizes the electorate and makes them think. Then when you own "foot in mouth" time comes around and the media tries to backdoor you again, then you can say "Well not as bad as Joe Biden". People will then intuitively cut you more slack. Instead of wholeheartedly agreeing with the media.

This is the OBama way.

Methadras said...

EMD said...

Maybe we're just having fun. Chill out.


Maybe you are. Forget I said anything.

but I am a robot said...

This is very silly the way this is being parsed out.
Yet, I'm fascinated by it.

I simply hear "I ehhhhhh been..."
But by the length of the "ehhhhh," I would conclude it's a very crude "haven't."

Methadras said...

ricpic said...

That Methadras comment is so out of character I figure he ate something that's backing up on him, or repeating on him, or speeding up on him.

11/2/12 6:37 PM
Blogger chickelit said...

ricpic said...
That Methadras comment is so out of character I figure he ate something that's backing up on him, or repeating on him, or speeding up on him.

Whichever end it came out, it was nasty.


I pull the stick outta my ass. Now I can flow free. There, you happy? Oh, and I had a carne asada burrito today from my favorite taco shop. Maybe that did it.

but I am a robot said...

Rusty said...

"No. Italy.
You haven't been paying attention."

"No. Italy.
You ehhhhh been paying attention."

FIFY.

Kchiker said...

I hear the N pretty clearly but much less so when it is slowed down...for some reason. I think cadence is important to this particular accent.

but I am a robot said...

You know, this could create a precedent for some dubiously ambiguous representations.

"I ehhhhh been withholding important facts concerning the events that transpired in Benghazi."

Lem said...

I hear it the way Althouse hears it.

There is a peculiar way people in south Jersey talk.

I hear it all the time.

borgjess said...


"The question is, 'is our children learning'"


I think you mean:
The question am "is our children learning"

Lem said...

Did rh "spread out" the Integrity Kinetic Energy of a Biden supposed gaffe?

borgjess said...


You know who Hillary is voting for.


Herself, as a write-in?

Ali Karim Bey said...

I knew Sunday was the turning point as Sunday was going on.

You see, I voted for Romney on Friday.

I knew Obama would lose. BUT, I was thinking of SANDY all day Saturday. You can check this blog.

Then on Sunday when I found out that Obama was heading back to DC from FL, I immediately came up with a few scenarios:

- Obama gets a great photo-op.
- He undos the damage he caused in Benghazi, just like that. Like a fart in the wind.
- Press goes wild. Political orgasm at NYT, NPR, and PBS.

I knew this was going to happen on Monday. On Tuesday, I got SCARED.

On Wednesday I could not even eat.

Now, on Thursday, every-thing I thought and said on this blog happened.

On top of that, Bloomberg endorsed Obama. Why? It is not easy to forget that Mike wants the Treasury job. BUT, now Climate Change problem-solver will be Obama. His 2nd term plan is that. He got a peace prize for his potential. He made it without even doing anything, just a photo-op.

Christie was an idiot. He should have asked Romney to visit. And, Romney is an idiot. Did he not realize on Friday that with Sandy coming, Obama would use it for his own photo-op?

Never trust Obama to do anything for USA sake. It is all about him.

Why did GOP screw up by not aggressively working on Sandy?

Why did GOP not realize on Sunday the events of Mon through Thurs?

Why must I be thinking ahead and not anyone from the GOP?

WHY? WHY? WHY?

t-man said...

I'm from South Jersey/Phila, and grew up saying "I'm thirsty, I need some 'wooder'". I saying "I haven't" people with a heavy accent (remember Biden is not from around here, but from Scranton) would drop the first "H" in "haven't" and the "T" (e.g., "I 'aven"), but there would be three syllables.

garage mahal said...

Maybe we're just having fun. Chill out.

Meth needs to drop the meth and start smoking some dope. He lives in CA right? It can't be that hard to find. I'm almost positive. Heard it from a friend.

phx said...

Just listen to Robbie Robertson's guitar on Hazel. Nasty.

Christoph said...

Definitely "haven't".

Which incidentally sounds like a much bigger gaffe to me and is a damning statement on Biden's judgment or character.

bgates said...

I feel I understand the implied "n."

I think the rule for some time has been you have to actually say your n-words; if other people claim to understand one was implied, that's on them.

Freeman Hunt said...

I bet it's exciting for Obama to have Biden as his VP. Very suspenseful.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe that's the real problem: Obama is an adrenaline junkie. Biden for VP. Crazy debt. Bizarre foreign policy. It's a rush.

wyo sis said...

Freeman you may have something there.

rcommal said...

FWIW, Freeman and wyo sis, that doesn't make sense to me.

From Inwood said...

Q "What is the name of the big hurricane?"

Joe Biden: "Sadie"

Althouse: “Biden said ‘Sandy’ in Delaware-ese.

From Inwood said...

OOPS Close quote after Delaware-ese

Cosmic Conservative said...

This is the sort of thing that makes conservatives look as looney and brain-addled as liberals.

He clearly was saying "I haven't been" in his faux working-man accent.

Sheesh.

wyo sis said...

rcommal
What might a person who thinks he's the smartest person in any room do? A person who allows himself to be repeatedly photographed with a halo? Who flips leaders from the opposite side off with not-so-stealth hand gestures?

He might toy with failure and see how far he can push his charisma, with the added buzz of knowing how hard people are working to prop him up, just for thrills and giggles.

دردشة ومنتديات عراقنا said...

شات عراقنا
دردشة عراقنا
جات عراقنا
دردشة عراقنا
شلة عراقنا
عراقنا
شات العراق
دردشة عراقية
شات كيكه
دردشة عبدالله
جات
شات عراقنا
دردشة
منتدى دردشة عراقنا
منتدى عراقنا

Freeman Hunt said...

rcommal, sorry. We might have been too dry. Don't really think Obama resembles an adrenaline junkie in any way.

Astro said...

No. A phrase like that involving a double negative, for a crowd, requires - it is an absolute necessity - that the words I HAVEN'T BEEN get extra emphasis, not diminishment. You need to drive home that double negative to fire up the crowd. His voice rose, but he dropped the phrasing. Oops.

A freudian slip, or a tell.

Henry said...

Forget the audio analysis. Why did Joe think that such a statement was even necessary?

Rory Moore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astro said...

One other comment is that, pulled out of context, the statement sounds like something Biden would say after an Obama defeat in the election.
It carries that tone of, "Well, it's been a great four years, and I've been proud to serve... blah, blah, blah."