In diplomacy, we often have quirks in language that end up being boilerplate that sounds silly when considered in the aggregate. The Danish television show Detektor finds Barack Obama making so much use of the phrase “one of our closest allies” that it becomes meaningless. That’s not so much the work of a lazy speechwriter as it is the language of diplomacy. That is a specific construct that honors one ally without disconcerting others.
When it comes to the boxing language, though, that’s another matter (via Granny Jen):
Does every country “punch above its weight”? Perhaps we should adjust the weight classes accordingly.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
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