Bushism



A Bushism is any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors that have occurred in the public speaking of United States President George H. W. Bush and, more recently, his son George W. Bush and subsequently used in caricatures of them. The term (a neologism) has become part of popular folklore and is the basis of a number of websites and published books.

George W. Bush's uses of nonstandard grammatical constructions have some common characteristics:

* Constructing neologisms such as "tacular" (a portmanteau of "tactical" and "nucular") and "misunderestimated" ("misunderstood" and "underestimated").
* Occasional use of spoonerisms such as "mexed missages" (mixed messages) and "terriers and bariffs" (barriers and tariffs).
* Use of words that sound similar to intended words but are either inappropriate for the context (i.e. malapropism, such as "Nucular power pants" instead of "Nuclear power plants"), or completely alter the meaning of the sentence (such as using "devaluation" instead of "deflation", which "caused confusion in the currency markets").
* Folksy pluralization of, or addition of articles to, familiar terms ("suiciders", "Internets",and "the Google").
* Redundant or odd sentence construction, such as "We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who's a parent, and a mom or a dad."
* Change of subject mid-sentence, such as, "I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport."
* Wrong word order within a setence, such as, "give my chance a plan to work"

Some columnists, including the late Molly Ivins (the co-author of a book of Bushisms), have suggested that Bush may have difficulty speaking "Washington English", and that he may be trying to cover his accent by over-emphasizing words. Some have hypothesized that Bush is not familiar with some of the words that he feels he must use as a president.

A poem composed entirely of Bushisms titled "Make the Pie Higher" has become popular on the Internet. Each line contains some sort of grammatical error, logical error, or unusual usage and is said to have been uttered by George W. Bush. Although its origin is uncertain, it has been attributed to Washington Post political cartoonist and satirist Richard Thompson. The poem has been criticized as apocryphal. However, the Urban Legends Reference Pages at Snopes.com have verified all but the line "I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity" as having been spoken by Bush at one point or another during his presidency. The site has also noted that the president made reference to "mential losses", not "mental losses" as the poem claims. This phrase was possibly in reference to missile launches.

A song composed entirely of Bushisms is Hail to the Chief by John McCutcheon.

Other Bushisms

* "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?"
* "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
* "I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."
* "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
* "Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."
* "I think that the vice president is a person reflecting a half-glass-full mentality."
* Bush dares us to imagine ourselves as working mothers, "working hard to put food on your family."
* "... able to make a living and ... put more money on the table."
* "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 the country."
* "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
* "This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses."
* "They misunderestimated ..."
* "There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says: fool me once, shame on ... (long pause) shame on you? (long pause) Fool me, you can't get fooled again."
* "One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps."
* "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
* "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of ... people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble—that means not tell the truth."
* "I don't need to remind you who al-Qaeda is. Al-Qaeda is the group that plot and planned and trained killers to come and kill people on our soil. The same bunch that is causing havoc in Iraq were the ones who came and murdered our citizens.""
* "I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for President, you've got to preserve."
* "We put in more troops to get to a position where we can be in some other place. The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy."Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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