Friday, May 11, 2007

Fly me to the moon, George. In other words, I love your syntax.

Wasn't it Frank Sinatra who sang a song called "Fly Me To the Moon?" And wasn't the key refrain, "In other words, hold my hand. In other words, I love you?"

The phrase "in other words" is now popping up with alarming frequency in other words -- the words of President George Bush. In fact, it's popping up so many times in a short speech that I'm ready to fly to the moon, provided I can take his Iraq policy with me and leave it there.

In other words, his speech patterns are getting weirder and weirder.

I'm grateful to New York journalist and advertising writer Richard Rosenthal, who sent me the following "other" words:

>>This is your president speaking: the utterances of George W. Bush either April 9 or 10, 2007 as reported in the Congressional Quaterly, taken from a transcript of his talk at an American Legion post in Fairfax, VA

>>"This is a -- this is an unusual era in which we live, defined on

September the 11th, 2001. See, that's a date that reminding us the

world has changed significantly from what we thought the world

was ... My attitude about the world changed, and I know the attitude

about the world from a lot of folks here in America's attitude

changed ...

>>"I vowed that day that we would go on the offense against an enemy,

that the best way to defeat this enemy is to find them overseas and

bring them to justice so they will not hurt the folks here at home.

In other words, we don't have the luxury of hoping for the best, of

sitting back and being passive in the face of this threat. In the

past, we would say oceans would protect us and, therefore, what

happened overseas may not matter here at home.

>>"That's what changed on September the 11th. What happens overseas

affects the security of the United States ...

>>"I vowed that, 'If you harbor a terrorist, you're equally as guilty

as the terrorist.' That's a doctrine.

>>"In order for this country to be credible, when the president says

something, he must mean it. I meant it. And the Taliban found out

that we meant what we said. And therefore, we ended al-Qaida's safe

haven in a failed state.

>>"The two points I want to make is, doctrine matters; and secondly, a

failed state can lead to severe consequences for the American people ...

>>"In other words, there was reprisal ...

>>"In other words, the lack of security would have created an

opportunity for extremists to move in ...

>>"In other words, in sending troops in, it is -- I recognize that this

is more than a military mission ...

>>"In other words, this operation is just getting started ...

>>"In other words, part of the effort is not only to provide security

to neighborhoods, but we're constantly training Iraqis so that they

can do this job ...

>>"So, in other words, it's a combination of providing security in

neighborhoods through these joint security stations, and training ...

>>"I'm always amazed at the men and women who wear our uniform. Last

week, before I went down to Crawford -- for a snowy Easter, I might

add -- I was in California at Fort Irwin. And I had a chance to visit

with some who had just come back from Iraq and some who were going

over to Iraq. And it just amazes me that these young men and women

know the stakes. They understand what we're doing. And they have

volunteered to serve.

>>"We're really a remarkable country and a remarkable military. And

therefore we owe it to the families and to those who wear the uniform

to make sure that this remarkable group of men and women are strongly

supported -- strongly supported, by the way, during their time in

uniform and then after their time in uniform through the Veterans


>>"I tried to put this war into a historical context for them. In other

words, I told them that they're laying the foundation of peace. In

other words, the work we're doing today really will yield peace for a

generation to come."<<

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