Writers know that to use the same word over and over again demonstrates a limited vocabulary, and to repeat it in the same sentence is even worse. How about when a writer — or speaker — uses it first as a point of sarcasm and later in the same sentence as a measure of earnestness? As Ann Althouse points out, that’s the mark of a true amateur, especially since this sentence was part of Barack Obama’s prepared remarks (emphases hers, via Instapundit):
And it is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice, would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows, would involved some meaningful changes to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid that would preserve the integrity of the programs and keep our sacred trust with our seniors…
As a Christmas gift to our President, perhaps the citizens of this nation should send the White House enough Roget’s Thesauruses to ensure that all of his speech writers have one. Not only is the odd repetition and the diametrically opposed meanings bad, but the choice of those two clichés so close together shows a carelessness of composition. This is a passage that could only have been written on the back of an electric bill as a rote afterthought.
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.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!