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So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Say What?

From the New York Post via Drudge:

In an article about President Clinton's opinion of ABC's 9/11 miniseries, we find this sentence/paragraph:
The letter, written by Bruce Lindsey, head of the Clinton Foundation, and Douglas Bond, a top lawyer in Clinton's office, accuses the ABC drama of "bias" and a "fictitious rewriting of history that will be misinterpreted by millions of Americans."
A "fictitious rewriting." Does that mean they didn't actually rewrite history, that they only pretended to? Is it, like a double negative, in fact accurate history? Perhaps they were just being redundant.

And if the presentation is wrong, why worry that it will be misinterpreted? Doesn't that mean that people won't believe the portrayal and will believe what you actually want them to believe? What's the problem?

And more from the "you keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means" department:
"Clinton, whose aides first learned from a TV trailer about a week ago that the miniseries would slam his administration, was "surprised" and "incredulous" when told about the film's slant, sources said."
Incredulous means "skeptical" or "disbelieving." Are President Clinton's aides in the habit of lying to him? Or did he mean something else? And was he using the standard definition of whatever else it was he was feeling?

This isn't a political rant. Not being anti-Clinton/pro-W. (90% of what W says doesn't parse and you're incredulous (standard definition) about all of it.) Just been reading an excellent grammar book, and the Post article bugged me.

Carry on.

Mikesell

3 Snarky Remarks:

That looks like a good book -- I've think I've seen it, but not read it.

I'll bet you'd like Robert Hartwell Fiske's books, such as the Dictionary of Disagreeable English. He's a strong advocate for saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
Blogger lindaruth, at 8:27 AM  
Ah, politics. I pray Heaven is a spin free zone?
Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant, at 10:28 AM  
Linda: Haven't read Fiske, but he sounds like my kind of guy.

Curm: Where does that leave the Whirling Dervishes?
Blogger Chris, at 12:13 AM  

Get snarky