Grammar Wednesday

Another reason to dislike our president:

At the end of the ad – it’s a little clipped on this video – the voice over says “protectify.”

Seriously. Protectify.

It seems that not only is our fearless leader shredding our Constitution, but he’s doing his best to destroyicate our language, too.



Filed under bad grammar

17 responses to “Grammar Wednesday

  1. Don’t worry, the Constitution will survive shrub, it is good that way.

    On another note, I thought about you last night 😉 NOT THAT WAY.
    The college I attended back in the dark ages emailed me that my mentor was retiring. He was the head of the English/Literature dept forever and now he is headed out to pasture. They want his former students to write letters to him telling him how wonderful he was. They are going to bind them together into a book of some sort as a present.
    I can’t wait to get my letter done. Haven’t seen the man in 18 years, but he made an impact. So …


  2. What does this ad have to do with the president?

    I agree that “protectify” is not a standard English word, but I don’t see how it destroys the language. Its meaning is transparent. It seems like just another case of advertisers playing with language. English has survived a lot worse than someone making up a new word.

  3. Thomas (aka Red Roach), I LOVE that idea! As a teacher yourself, you know that it’s a rarity for a student to acknowledge our impact on him or her, and that it’s something we cherish when it DOES happen. More than anything else this professor leaves with from his retirement celebration, that book is going to be what he values.

    Goofy, I was going for levity; work with me, here. I disagree with your claim of “advertisers playing with the language,” though; I wonder if anyone would have thought to change that word in that way had it not been for Bush’s 8 year long practice of mangling English.

    I’m so disheartened by this administration as it is (and genuinely frightened that Bush is going to do something terrible in the time he’s got left) that I thought it best to try to inject a little humor into today’s GW. As soon as I saw that ad on ESPN last night, I knew I had my GW topic for the week.

  4. “I wonder if anyone would have thought to change that word in that way had it not been for Bush’s 8 year long practice of mangling English.”

    English speakers and writers have been making new words for as long as there has been English. We add affixes like “un-“, “dis-“, “de-“, “-less”, “-ize” “-fy”, we shift nouns to verbs or vice versa, we use blends (as in blog), backformation (as in resurrect), folk etymology (sweetheart), etc. It’s part of using a language. I don’t see how Bush has anything to do with it.

  5. come on now don’t hate on W. Let history be the judge. Remember, the whole country wanted to kill Ford for pardoning Nixon…it may have cost him the office. But now historians, Republicans, and Democrats all agree it was the right move at the time. This is all brand new territory for our country.

    As for the word…I am super guilty of making up new words. Let’s see mishappy, nonsensical, and my favorite demandatory. They all make sense to me, but for others it’s nonsensical 🙂 see

  6. Hahahaha! “Demandatory!” Nonsensical actually IS a word, though – you don’t get credit for making that one up….

  7. Wayfarer

    I always put the suffix “-age” on the ends of words for fun. Examples include pancakage, examage and snivellage (though these rarely occur in the same sentence). It’s a habit leftover from my time in the graphic arts industry, where everything in our office was considered an indefinable quantity.

  8. I would take Nixon over Shrub any day of the week. Nixon was evil, shrub is stupid and wants to be evil.
    Big difference.


  9. Julia

    Sometimes sarcasm is difficult to convey via the written word, but I get what you’re talking about. It seems like so many of his Bush-erisms are real words with -ify tacked on the end. And when comedians want to make fun of him they exaggerate that particular aspect.

    I think INTENTIONALLY making up words can be funny and cute (although it can be a little annoying at times, too). But Bush’s language errors are unintentional – he just doesn’t know any better. That’s not cute nor funny. It’s just sad and embarassing that he’s been our president for 8 years.

    I’m with you Mrs. Chili! I just didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry, so I just hung my head in shame.

  10. My favorite Bush word is “strategery.” It just makes me laugh. But now, my new favorite word, ever, is demandatory. I love that.

  11. Heh. I needed a laugh! 🙂

  12. I don’t agree that Bush’s disfluencies are due to his not knowing any better. I would speculate that they are due to his unwillingness to pause and search for the right word. And sometimes he is very fluent. Is there any real evidence that Bush is more disfluent than other public speakers?

    I don’t like the Bush administration any more than the rest of you, but I would agree with Liberman that the excessive focus on Bush’s disfluencies is unhelpful.

  13. Rachel

    As if we needed another reason to dislike him? Wow, he is an idiot.

  14. fermat

    Protectify is a perfectly cromulent word. That being said, Bush is easy to pick on because of his obvious exposure and political station. He has made many gaffs, as we all have, except we don’t have the benefit of having the nation scrutinize our every word. (Thank goodness for that!) What gets me thinking is: should we be thinking it’s Bush saying these things, or just bad writers?

    Here are some of top blunders:

    10) “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

    9) “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

    8) “I hear there’s rumors on the Internets that we’re going to have a draft.” —second presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

    7) “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

    6) “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” —to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb.

    5) “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.” —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

    4) “They misunderestimated me.” —Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

    3) “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

    2) “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.” —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

    1) “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” —Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

  15. so, fermat… why doesn’t he fire the speechwriters??

    or is he not dumb, but snicky-snicky, and hires speechwriters to make him sound dumb so that people will “misunderestimate” him?

  16. I think you should read 1984, one of the tools the INCSOC dictatorship used was to destroy language so people had less connection with the past and less symbols to communicate with each other. You’d like it!

  17. Carlos

    Hey… it takes one to vote for one…

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