What I Meant To Say
Leave it up to the national media to come with a word or phrase and, just as my mom would say, “beat it to death.”
The latest word is ‘presumptive.”
According to Mr. Noah Webster, that means 1. Based on the probability or presumption. 2. Giving grounds for reasonable opinion or belief.
Sometimes I think these definitions make everything more confusing, especially when you use another form of the word to explain the other word in question. I realize that statement is a little confusing too, so let me explain …
If you were trying to define what a golfer was to someone who had no idea, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to say, 1. One who plays golf. Or that a fisherman is one who fishes.
As an aside, you might find it interesting (or not) that up in Alaska, there is quite the debate over fisherman/fisherwoman. There are lots of commercial fishermen who are women, so they prefer fisherwomen. But you know, at the rate we’re going, everyone is going to be a fisherX or firex, or policeX just so no one’s gender issues become, well, an issue.
Anyway, back to presumptive. You will hear it ad nauseum (a fancy way of saying “you’ve said that phrase so often I’m about to throw up) regarding the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. AKA, Herr Fuhrer Donald and Queen “Let Them Eat Cake” Hillary.
So the national media say Trump is the “presumptive” Republican nominee and Clinton is the “presumptive” Democratic nominee. Which basically means there’s a 99.9 percent chance each of the previously mentioned individuals are going to be our two options for president of the United States.
They will continue to use the presumptive phrase until after the respective political party conventions, because they hate to be wrong so this phrase gives them that 0.01 percent of wiggle rule.
Because there is that 0.01 percent chance that America wakes up, realizes it’s in the midst of a national nightmare and writes in Mr. Rogers or one of the Muppets as a third party candidate.
We can only hope.
At least presumptive is nowhere in the same category as “ethnic cleansing,” which was all the rage among the media elite a few years back.
It’s a very polite way, meaning you can use it in your grandmother’s parlor, to say one group of people is trying to kill/annihilate another group of people simply because they are different.
“Extrajudicial killing” actually has a somewhat calming influence because we are being extra appropriate with the seal of law. Or we could just call it assassination.
We no longer have prisoners of war, but rather, “detainees.” Many of these detainees have experienced “enhanced interrogation” techniques. That does not involve questions from Harvard or Yale professors. It would mean torture. Unless of course you use the phrase “waterboarding,” which sounds similar to surfing minus the drowning sensation.
Whatever happened to just saying exactly what you mean? It seems to me that would clear up a lot of confusion and potential misinterpretation.
You know, we have the War on Terror, War on Poverty; why not a War on Not Keeping It Simple.
I will admit however, I am concerned that I will just become collateral damage in this War on Saying What You Mean.
Until next time.