Really? Naw...

Thursday, October 23, 2008


"Saturday Night Live" has been parodying politicians for years, sometimes with such precision that their catchphrases (Carvey's "wouldn't be prudent," Ferrell's "misunderestimated") have become more closely associated with the politicians than the politicians' own words.
Ferrell's the one who coined Misunderestimated? Really? Naw...Well...

So we checked
    • "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000
    • "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000
    • "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country...especially Todd's mom" —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004
    • "It's your money. You paid for it." —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000
    • "They misunderestimated me." —Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000
    Apparently Bush did say it, so we'll never doubt his grammatical deficiencies again (for the record, I think the SNL Bushism they meant was "strategery"). He's not the only faux-politician either--Wiki has many more:

    Japanese PM Yoshiro Mori:
    • At a meeting of Shinto leaders in Tokyo, Mori described Japan as "the nation of the gods, with the Emperor at its center." This "divine nation statement" stirred controversy in Japan, as the statement sounded like he was in support of offering the Emperor absolute power.
    • During the election campaign of 2000, one of his most notable "slips of the tongue" happened in a speech in Niigata on June 20. When asked about recent newspaper reports that showed that roughly half of the voters still had not decided whom to vote for, he replied “If they still have no interest in the election, it would be all right if they just slept in on that [election] day.”
    Warren G. Harding:
    Although a commanding and powerful speaker, Harding was notorious for his verbal gaffes, such as his comment "I would like the government to do all it can to mitigate, then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved." His errors were compounded by his insistence on writing his own speeches. Although it might not have been a mispronunciation as some thought, Harding's most famous "mistake" was his use of the word "normalcy" when the more correct word to use at the time would have been "normality." Harding decided he liked the sound of the word and made "Return to Normalcy" a recurring theme.

    Critic H.L. Mencken disagreed, saying of Harding, "He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash."
    Here's more?