13 August, 2009

The educated party

Former President Bush used to take a lot of flack for his poor choice of words, such as "evil-doers", or his poor choice of accent, such as "nukular" or however Texans spell it. I can dig that, even if Senator Kennedy talks in a Massachusetts accent day in and day out. (A crime against humanity, that accent. Nothing like the sweetness of a Western Virginia accent.)

But today I read that Sen. Harry Reid referred to opponents as "evil-mongers", while President Obama has used the word "dissing" in a public speech.

Whatever happened to the party of prose?

(Believe it or not, I've know what "dissing" means since middle school. But what is an "evil-monger", anyway?)


Brandon said...

The sad thing about "evildoers" is that it was very obviously a literary allusion: the King James Version of the Psalms (and most other versions that are not fairly modern) uses the term frequently, e.g., "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity" (Ps. 37:1) and "I have hated the congregation of evil-doers; and will not sit with the wicked" (Ps. 26:5). Bush overused 'evil' and its cognates to try (futilely) to drum up effect, but it's not as if he just made up the word.

'Evil-monger', on the other hand, is a bit of a perplexity.

jack perry said...

Hmm. The allusion wasn't that obvious to me, and if that's true, then I'm somewhat unimpressed by it.