Friday, September 01, 2006

Arguing with Kevin Drum about English Style

After a full day of debugging Gauss codes, I am deliriating and even think that I have something to say to Keving Drum about, you know, the English language, with regards to effective use thereof and stuff. Also I quote this post in full without permission.

ISLAMOFASCISM....David Weigel quotes Jack Reed on George Bush's newfound infatuation with the ridiculous neologism "Islamofascism":

And again, I think it goes to the point of that their first response is, you know, come up with a catchy slogan, and then they forget to do the hard work of digging into the facts and coming up with a strategy and resources that will counter the actual threats we face.

Preach it, brother. The modern Republican Party has mastered the art of winning elections by beating culture war campaign tropes to death in 30-second ad spots, and they seem to think that you can solve actual real-world problems the same way. Sadly, it isn't true. With any luck, the American public will finally figure that out this year.


Jack Reed eventually got around to putting it perfectly. It is ironic that he and you maintain your just proper and honorable disdain for sloganating in spite of the fact that each of you is a master sloganator. Many have understood this fundamental fault of the Bush administration but Reed is the first to put it perfectly.

On the other hand, he seems to have been caught off balance by the question, to have been backfooted, to have stalled for time. The words "And again, I think it goes to the point of that" are hideous and were clearly uttered because he needed to stall a few seconds (I bet my butt that Reed was speaking to someone not writing or giving a speach). The words "you know" happen to be absolutely accurate and to the point, since many people know about this aspect of the utter incompetence of the Bush administration. However they are a pause to catch breath.

The thing I don't get is why you quoted him so ruthlessly. Why didn't you quote "their first response is, you know, come up with a catchy slogan, and then they forget to do the hard work of digging into the facts and coming up with a strategy and resources that will counter the actual threats we face." or even "their first response is ... come up with a catchy slogan, and then they forget to do the hard work of digging into the facts and coming up with a strategy and resources that will counter the actual threats we face." ?

Why did you include the first stumbling words when praising Reed's eloquence ? Does your sense of honesty require you to quote whole sentences when praising the last 2 clauses ?

Actually while I'm nitpicking brilliant prose why did you use the aweful word "tropes" when the correct word is "slogans". Were you unwilling to quote a word used by Reed when parapraising him ? (Effort at wit not typo call it a halfwitto.) I hate hate hate the rule of style that priveledges gack aweful words if necessary to avoid repetition. God damn all thyrants ! God damn Thesaurus Rexxon !

Also why do you say "culture war." That would have something to do with the pelvic issues. Sad to say the Republicans have "campaign tropes" for issues which have nothing to do with genetalia such as War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, PAGO, and various other long Russian novels (ahh to be Russian so I could write a thousand page novel entitled PAGO -- No

update: Semi debugged Gauss program here. Now tell me aint that program eloquent ?

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