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Offline Darwiniall

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Don´t Learn English from this man
« Online: 03 de Dezembro de 2005, 16:54:20 »
Don't Learn English from this Man!

The surprise best-seller in the U.S. is a calendar recording "The Very Curious Language of President George W. Bush." The 2005 calendar boasts all new quotes, with a comical Bushism for every day of the year. The previous years are selling well in paperback form. ABC News calls it "a national sensation." While George Bush Senior was in office, his Vice-President, Dan Quayle, was endlessly mocked for his illiteracy. Critics laughed when Quayle mistakenly corrected a child's spelling of potato to potatoe. Speaking in Latin America, he bemused Spanish-speaking Mexicans by telling them he wished he'd kept up Latin at school.
But George "Dubya" Bush makes Quayle seem like a linguistic genius. Every time he opens his mouth, he offends millions, or at least confuses them. Bush's misuse of English can be divided into four main areas: nonsensical statements, inappropriate diction, mangled words(9), and pure bad grammar.

Empty rhetoric

"I've got a preference for friends."
"The benefits of helping somebody is beneficial."
"The most effective way to conserve energy is by using energy more efficiently."
Sentences like these tell us nothing. Friends wouldn't be friends if we didn't have a preference for them. Bush is trying to make dignified presidential comments, but often can't think of anything meaningful to say.
He sometimes seems to miss out a line of his speech. Or perhaps it's something missing from his brain:
"The vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and bring them to justice."
No, George, it's not the peaceful majority that needs to be brought to justice, it's the other guys.
"My most important job is … to protect innocent Americans from the deaths of the killers."
He may want to protect Americans from the killers, or he may want the killers' deaths. But he didn't manage to say either.
That's All, Folks!

Bush has a talent for choosing the wrong words for every occasion. Responding to September 11th, he condemned "the folks that perpetrated this act." Right response, wrong word. "Folks" is an affectionate term for your own people, especially family or parents. He described the U.S. economy as "kind of bumpin' along." We get the picture from this strange phrasal verb, describing how an old car might move, but it's much too informal for a speech on economics.
At a ceremony to unveil his portrait, Bush thanked the audience "for coming to witness my hanging." The collocation "to hang a portrait" would make sense, but George makes it sound like he's about to be executed.

A leak is political slang for information given unauthorised to the press. To take a leak, however, means to urinate. Somehow Bush mixes them up, and it sounds as if he wants to investigate governmental urination:
"I take those leaks very seriously. … I'd like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information … so we can find out the leaker."

Words, wonderful words

Besides these ambiguities, Bush uses words in quite the wrong place.
Hydrogen power, he tells us, will dramatically reduce "greenhouse admissions" rather than "emissions." He wants to preserve executive powers "not only for myself, but for my predecessors as well." He should have said "successors" of course, unless George intends to travel back in time to help out past presidents.
He often gets common phrases wrong:
"That's what we discussed about."
"The war on terror has nothing to do about oil."
Talked about or discussed, please, George, but not discussed about. And you mean the war is nothing to do with oil.
His specialty, though, is invented words and bizarre compounds:
"We can outcompete with anybody."

"They misunderestimated the will and determination of the Commander-in-Chief."
America can perhaps compete with anybody or outdo them, but outcompete is meaningless. Likewise, the terrorists have either misunderstood Bush or underestimated him.
"Keep good relations with the Grecians."
"The servants of this ideology seek to indeminate America into panic."
Grecian 2000 is a hair dye made famous by Ronald Reagan, but people from Greece are Greeks. The terrorists may be trying to condemn America or to inseminate panic into America.
"They kind of ooch around the dark corners of the worlds."
You may look through all your dictionaries, but you won't find "ooch" anywhere. Why? Because Bush has invented it, like a child describing things too serious for him to understand. We know what he means, more or less. To mooch around is slang for walking around purposelessly(19). If liquid oozes, it pours slowly. But Bush's invention is too childish to be appropriate: it makes the hunt for terrorists sound like a game of hide-and-seek.

Grammar 101

We all make silly mistakes from time to time, and it's tempting to blame some of Bush's blunders on complicated sentence structures. But some of his errors are too regular and too blatant to excuse.
"The welfare laws is a success."
"There is no second-rate children in America."
"The illiteracy level of our children are appalling."
It's as if, in the middle of a sentence, he forgets what he has said and carries on in a different direction.
"There haven't been a morning that haven't gone by that I haven't saw - seen - or read threats."
He's not too hot on tenses, either.
"One year ago today the time for excuse-making has come to an end."
The present perfect can express current situations, but a time marker such as "one year ago" requires the past simple. Except that sometimes George can't remember those past simple forms…
"We didn't need any more theory in Washington. We needed people that actually done."

Intentional incompetence
Perhaps we "misunderestimate" Bush's sense of humour. When an English child asked him to describe the White House, he replied, "It's white." Speaking of Queen Elizabeth II, he said, "She was neat." But was he trying to be funny when he said the following?
"We'll prevail, because we're a fabulous nation, and we're a fabulous nation because we're a nation full of fabulous people."
"Free nations do not develop weapons of mass destruction."
In his introduction to Volume 3 of Bush's mistakes, high-ranking U.S. government official, John Brady Kiesling, admits that we all have moments of inarticulacy. But we expect more from our politicians. If U.S. electors had wanted a leader like Tony Blair, always ready with a well-considered argument, they could have found one. Yet George Dubya, despite his expert speechwriters, remains frighteningly inarticulate. And he doesn't seem to care. "I admit it," he said in a television interview, "I am not one of the great linguists."
A more sinister view, held by some UK journalists, proposes that Bush is happy to be regarded as stupid. If he is immune to reason, he can pursue his policies unrestrained by international opinion.
On Bush's re-election, there was surprise around the world, and some disappointment. But the publishers of the Presidential (Mis)Speak Calendar must have breathed a sigh of relief and sharpened their pencils. For four more years, let the blunders continue.

by William Sutton

Offline Stéfano

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Re.: Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #1 Online: 03 de Dezembro de 2005, 17:07:33 »
"Alternative and mainstream Medicine are not simply different methods of treating ilness. They are basically incompatible views of reality and how the material world works." Arnold S. Relman

Offline Hold the Door

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Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #2 Online: 05 de Dezembro de 2005, 21:31:24 »
:histeria: :histeria: :histeria: :histeria:
Hold the door! Hold the door! Ho the door! Ho d-door! Ho door! Hodoor! Hodor! Hodor! Hodor... Hodor...

Offline Felius

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Re.: Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #3 Online: 05 de Dezembro de 2005, 23:33:28 »
Well bush appears a brazillian studing english for a few months, and tryng to look like a native speaker.
"The patient refused an autopsy."

Offline Rodion

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Re.: Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #4 Online: 06 de Dezembro de 2005, 00:10:10 »
any ressemblance with lula?
"Notai, vós homens de ação orgulhosos, não sois senão os instrumentos inconscientes dos homens de pensamento, que na quietude humilde traçaram freqüentemente vossos planos de ação mais definidos." heinrich heine

Offline OverKill

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Re: Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #5 Online: 22 de Abril de 2006, 23:53:06 »

Offline Isabel

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Re: Don´t Learn English from this man
« Resposta #6 Online: 16 de Maio de 2006, 14:33:22 »


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