Friday, September 28, 2007

Tory Commentators: Tending To Mickey Mousketeerery

There is a hilarious over reaction over at Dizzy's to today's Times article following up yesterday's wafer thin cover story (yes, this made the cover) based on Danny Finkelstein's Comment Central. Yes, Gordon's speech using a few words that he hadn't coined himself.

The Times hyperbolically talks of phrases being used "without attribution" from Clinton and Gore speeches of the last five years. Meanwhile LOL fisked da Fink and found he based his argument on NINE WORDS and the rather universal ideas that went with them in four source speeches. Absolutely none of which had ever been used before or since.

Being: 1. Too serious; 2. (Not) let you down; 3. Moral compass; 4. Waste.

Short of becoming like Johnson's dictionary (word first used xyz by abc) this story seems to be a hilarious death knoll for a former paper of record. This twaddle - imagined by a former magpie of a speechwriter - was yesterday's Times cover story.

The idea that ideas and the odd word recur in political speeches is nothing new. "If not now, when?" being an example with centuries of ancient pedigree. Though Tories latched onto Reagan as the supposed source.

Rather than my great great aunt Hilary Swank or some old Greek guy - see link.

Obama follows King as sure as night follows day.

Serious people know, thanks to French linguistic sophist Jacques Derrida, about the finite number of "sayables". That last being one of many words (and by defintion ideas) that JD used without coining them himself. Stoics did that 2000 years before as "lektas". Clearly in writing a political pitch the sayables list is shorter still.

Someone (definitely not me) will be having some fun fisking Tory speeches next week for the odd word here or there first uttered by Maggie Thatcher, Ghengis Khan or Edward Heath.

More likely to get Enid Blyton on Amelia Jane's new Gollywog, Richmal Crompton on Just Boris, or Mickey Mouse for everything else.

IMAGE: Via WIKI Mickey Mouse with fair use statement there.

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