September 4, 2008

"She seems like a real fighter, someone who would stick it to the lobbyist and special-interest groups that have run ramped in Washington."

Writes one of the Detroit Free Press readers who are weighing in on Sarah Palin's speech:
Originally, I was a not too happy about McCain’s choice for a running mate, Sarah Palin … However, after her speech tonight I am beginning to see her in a different light. She seems like a real fighter, someone who would stick it to the lobbyist and special-interest groups that have run ramped in Washington. Her perspective between Obama and McCain was brilliant. … Palin hit it on the nail, the Democratic Party is about big government and high taxes. McCain has walked the walk on change while Obama has to date only talked the talk about change.
Hey, somebody notify Language Log! "Run ramped" is a fabulous eggcorn -- "a kind of word creation due to a mishearing that a glance at the written form would normally have corrected." The writer obviously meant "run rampant."

I love the association with the vogue use of the phrase "ramped up," which William Safire wrote about in his "On Language" column here:
Who is there to restrain this kudzulike growth of ramp, up and down? A myriad of readers (including those who prefer the adjective form, as in ''myriad readers'') have urged this department to take to the ramparts. In Old French, ramper was ''to creep or crawl.'' Its first appearance in English was in a 1390 poem: ''A litel Serpent on the ground, Which rampeth al aboute round.'' Three centuries later, John Milton contributed to its meaning of crawling upward: ''Surely the Prelates would have Saint Pauls words rampe one over another, as they use to clime into their Livings and Bishopricks.'' Shakespeare's contemporary Ben Jonson used it to lead off the couplet that has become the epitome of realism: ''Ramp up my genius, be not retrograde; But boldly nominate a spade a spade.''
Now, now, Ben Jonson wasn't talking about Obama, and I didn't read that part of the paragraph until after I pasted it in. I'm just interested in this word-root "ramp" and its present-day manifestations "ramp up" and "rampant" and how they converged in that eggcorn."Rampant" denotes a virulent growth, while "ramp" mostly refers to rising up. Not really that different, but "run ramped" seems like something from the 16th century.

48 comments:

Bob said...

Ask Glenn Reynolds if he's ever eaten ramps, Ann. He's probably heard of them, living in Knoxville. If he's eaten them, he's sure to remember, they ar rather memorable.

Peter V. Bella said...

Call in Sir Archy.

Kirby Olson said...

Not sure if it fits this thread, but my favorite line was when she said that she didn't think running for the president should be a means of "personal discovery," referring to OBama's 2 Memoirs, and lack of legislative oomph.

I thought it ramped up the debate nicely, and put in perspective Obama's very odd appeal to the searching for an identity quality of the very young who are most likely to support him.

She implies that McCain is a more mature man who is past all that, and will get down to the business of business, which is, as Coolidge, said, the basic stuff of the American dream.

bleeper said...

I am uphauled when I sea such language. Of course won seize it alot now. Run ramped indeed.

Chip Ahoy said...

Conflates with amp up.

MadisonMan said...

I love ramps in the early Spring. And they're so good for you, and delicious mixed in with scrambled eggs.

goesh said...

she really ramped it to obama

Simon said...

I find myself deeply worried by the reactions of the independents quoted therein. Now, granted, it might just be lamppost journalism - if they had many more reactions than they actually ran, they will have cherry-picked those that tell the editorial line they prefer. But I'm worried that this speech may not have been so well-received among the people we need to win.

chickenlittle said...

However, after her speech tonight I am beginning to see her in a different light.

Is Sarah outshining Obama's aura, or is he just dimming a bit (Götterdämmerung)?


tags: visuals, Nietzsche

former law student said...

For some reason, Mrs. Palin left out of her speech her pro-life beliefs. Both she and McCain are 100% pro-life advocates. Given the chance to replace at least one liberal Justice, a McCain-Palin administration could easily mean the end of Roe v. Wade.

Why didn't Sarah speak about this?

I wish Sarah would have spoken about her religious beliefs, belonging as she does to a church that believes that salvation brings with it speaking in tongues and faith healing. It would be neat if our VP could cure disease in her spare time.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"For some reason, Mrs. Palin left out of her speech her pro-life beliefs. ... Why didn't Sarah speak about this?"

Uh...Because everyone knows that? Everyone in the hall knows it. And you'd better believe that the MSM has spent the last seven days doing everything they can possibly do to tell America at large as much, apparently thinking that this is an attack on her.

chickenlittle said...

She seems like a real fighter, someone who would stick it to the lobbyist and special-interest groups that have run ramped in Washington.

Though I didn't hear the words spoken, I'm pretty sure the writer would pronounce "ramped" as ram-pet (rhymes with Clampett). Folksy.

I like the writer's observation though because Team Spirit Obama is beginning to smell more and more like Chicago- at least the one I remember as a kid.

tags: smells

MadisonMan said...

When you speak to the flock, you don't want to challenge them at a Political Convention. Just hand out the red meat.

The part when she talked about energy was interesting to me. But as for other things she stands for? Not much talk.

So Simon, for someone like me who is trying to figure out how she stands on various issues -- given her proximity to the Oval Office -- my reaction is that she didn't shoot herself in the foot, which is good for her. But I learned very little about her except that she is a great communicator. Boy, if only Bush could communicate like that!! So it was an excellent introduction, but she has much more to talk about.

Michael said...

Palin: I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

But records show that Palin -- first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska -- was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state.

Palin: I told the Congress “thanks, but no thanks,” for that Bridge to Nowhere.

In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska's Congressional delegation during her run for governor.


Palin: I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged - directly to the people of Alaska.

It is the policy of the State, not the Governor, to encourage the settlement of its land and the development of its resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest.

former law student said...

Because everyone knows that? Everyone in the hall knows it.

Obviously she was trying to appeal to independents and "Reagan Democrats." Consider her mention of her husband's union membership -- which rendered the hall silent.

Palin hit it on the nail, the Democratic Party is about big government and high taxes.

and maintaining one's reproductive freedom.

wen said...

Awesome, Ann. Blogging as art. See how she ties it so smartly to the next post. I love that you can take an obviously hurried grammer mistake and invoke a sonnet, a discussion on language usage, and the current events of the day so succinctly. This is why I read your blog. Somehow your highlighting of "run ramped" made me imagine Inspector Clouseau dialogue.
"Ze criminals are running ramp-ed in ze city."
"Did you say ramp-ed?"
"Yiss, rrramp-ed!"

AJ Lynch said...

It's like the two parties each have a multi-purpose defensive shield.

One shield says "Vote against Tax & Spend" while the other says "Vote for Pro-Choice".

The trouble is neither side ever puts down their shield in order to fix even a single thing.

Does anyone really believe Obama will lower everyone's health insurance premium or really believe McCain will outlaw abortion?

Buford Gooch said...

Simon, I appreciate your caution, but, over the last few days, you've begun to sound too much like "Eeyore" over at HA

MadisonMan said...

AJ: that's why I like power to be shared in DC. No more nightmarish scenarios like 2004!

former law student said...

[Does anyone] really believe McCain will outlaw abortion?

McCain has a 100% prolife voting record, and the Right-to-Lifers are ecstatic with his VP pick. Unless you think McCain is a massive hypocrite, Roe v. Wade is going down.

http://www.nrlpac.org/index.htm

Smilin' Jack said...

Who is there to restrain this kudzulike growth of stupid neologisms like "eggcorn"? Really, it's not necessary to coin an ugly new word to denote a simple typo.

George said...

As Bob and Madison hint, a ramp is the Old English word for wild onion which grows quickly in early spring.

Ramp...Ram...Aries...

I've been to the Ramp Festival in upper north east TN. A more stinking event you cannot imagine.

holdfast said...

MadisonMan said...
AJ: that's why I like power to be shared in DC. No more nightmarish scenarios like 2004!


So you're voting McCain-Palin?

ricpic said...

Waiting here for a Chip Ahoy recipe utilizing broccoli ramp...or rabbe...or rabe...or whatever the hell it is.

Simon said...

Buford Gooch said...
"Simon, I appreciate your caution, but, over the last few days, you've begun to sound too much like 'Eeyore' over at HA"

I don't know what HA is - Eeoyre as in the Disney Winnie the Pooh character?

Trevor Jackson said...

I'm thinking he was calling you a Gloomy Gus, Simon.

I think you're right to be cautiously pessimistic. Palin is a deep-red conservative who makes a lot of people on your side of the fence happy, but it's still unclear which way the fence-sitters will fall. In a year that's trending Democratic, McCain's got tonight to make up for Palin's divisiveness.

To people like us the speech was energizing, no matter which candidate you support or detest. I’ll bet donations of time and money shot through the roof on both sides today. But the independent voter doesn’t always dig the nastiness. I’ll bet a lot of folks are cursing Rudy’s name today for hamming it up through Palin’s intro video time.

Simon said...

Trevor, kudos - it's refreshing to see someone recognizing that our worldviews color our reception of information, as compared to Zach's insistence to contrary of late. I don't want to play the gloomy gus, but it's very hard for me to evaluate how Palin went across when (1) I actually know a fair bit about her and (2) would walk across hot coals for her, whereas the people we need to reach (1) have no idea who this woman is and (2) are still working out if they like her.

Another thing I agree with you on is Rudy; I loved his speech, but this wasn't about me. This was about - or certainly ought to be about - reaching people who could go either way. As Althouse said yesterday, all the negative press should have produced a large audience, and I think that that audience would have been better-served by - and I think we would have more effectively reached out to them with - the Palin intro video.

Simon said...

What was the TV audience for Palin, by the way? How does one get those numbers?

Hoosier Daddy said...

McCain has a 100% prolife voting record, and the Right-to-Lifers are ecstatic with his VP pick. Unless you think McCain is a massive hypocrite, Roe v. Wade is going down.

Bush is also rabidly pro-life and Roe v. Wade is still there.

Is McCain somehow going to be granted powers of law repealing that the Bush Junta hasn't been able to do?

As for "reproductive rights", I wasn't aware that there were restrictions on whether women could or could not get pregnant. I had to get a license to get married but I didn't need one to have kids.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't know what HA is - Eeoyre as in the Disney Winnie the Pooh character?

HA=Hundred Acre Woods

Simon, if her speech has turned off the independents then alas, I fear we're all doomed then. If the independents actually prefer The Carter Years Part Deux then I suppose that is what Allah wills.

The upside is he'll only have one term.

Trevor Jackson said...

The McCain campaign was pretty savvy to keep her under wraps until last night. The speculation likely produced a fairly large audience. Nielsen will have numbers on commercial net viewers probably later today or tomorrow. This won’t reflect C-SPAN or PBS or YouTubers.

Trevor Jackson said...

And here it is:

37.2 million viewers

yo pete said...

"Palin hit it on the nail"

What exactly did she hit on the nail? A tree stump with a nail sticking out of it? A finger? I've hit my nail before and it hert reel gud. And if she hit the nail, was it a glancing blow- or did she hit it on the head?

Michael said...

First of all, Obama doesn't just say he's qualified because he's run his campaign.

He attended Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.

After graduating with a B.A. from Columbia in 1983, then worked for a year at the Business International Corporation and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.

He worked as a community organizer and served as director of the Developing Communities Project a church-based community organization comprising eight Catholic parishes.

During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. He helped set up a job training program and a college preparatory tutoring program for the needy, and a tenants' rights organization.

And then he attended Harvard Law School where he was elected president of the Law Review, as the first black president ever.

He graduated with a Juris Doctor magna cum laude, returned to Chicago where he had worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin.

He also directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive with a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state.

He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, and as a Lecturer for four years

He was a State Senator for seven years and has been a U.S. Senator for two.

I'm rather amazed at how many people here say they have no idea what a "community organizer" does, and how ridiculous some sound when they imply this man lacks major accomplishments in his life and doesn't stack up to Sarah Palin because she's been the mayor of a city with a population of about 9,000 and Governor for less than two years of a state that has a population comparable to Fort Worth, Texas.

*I'd like those who demean him to tell us what they've done to help America and Americans so we can compare them to what Obama has done thus far in his life.

Simon said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"Bush is also rabidly pro-life and Roe v. Wade is still there. ¶ Is McCain somehow going to be granted powers of law repealing that the Bush Junta hasn't been able to do?"

After a fashion, yes. The only way to uproot Roe - short of a Constitutional amendment, which I for one think would be a disaster on the sort of scale we've not seen since the 1860s - is to have five votes to be rid of it on the Supreme Court. What this means is keeping the Democratic party out of power until that majority is built, and it's not really George Bush's fault per se that John Stevens hasn't retired on his watch.

I disagree with Tom Goldstein on this: I think that if McCain is elected, you're going to see something very similar to the exodus of the old guard that took place under Bush 41. Brennan and Marshall gave up: they'd held out for two terms of Reagan, and they just didn't think they could outlast two terms of Bush 41. Likewise, I think that Stevens and Ginsburg for sure, and maybe Souter (although I hope not) will punch out in 2009 or 2010 if McCain gets elected, because they will see Democratic control of the Senate as their best chance to get more liberal replacements. The alternative is to hold out and risk the GOP capturing the Senate, or - worst of all - taking their chances with President Palin in 2012.

former law student said...

I pretty much agree with Simon. If Stevens is replaced, the pro-life side has a 5-4 majority.

Just as the current line-up finally gave the Second Amendment a chance for the first time in over 40 years, we're just one justice away from reversing Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, etc.

Revenant said...

McCain has a 100% prolife voting record, and the Right-to-Lifers are ecstatic with his VP pick. Unless you think McCain is a massive hypocrite, Roe v. Wade is going down.

Roe supporters claim that the majority of Americans want legal abortion. If that is true, then overturning Roe vs. Wade will have no effect; there will be no legislative majority in favor of making it illegal, or at least no such majority that will survive the following election. If, on the other hand, Roe supporters have been fibbing about that majority support -- and they have -- then we can probably expect some restrictions on abortion, and even a few localized bans.

But letting people vote on the issue is still the right thing to do.

Revenant said...

To clarify that previous post a little: even if you think McCain's election will result in Roe being overturned, that won't make abortion illegal. So the belief that McCain will outlaw abortion remains ridiculous. The most that can be said is that he'll probably make it possible for the people of the United States to outlaw abortion in their communities, if they wish to do so.

Simon said...

Two caveats about the court.

(1) I still think that Roberts and Alito are basically minimalists who are willing to overrule cases when necessary (Leegin for example) but who aren't going to reach out to decide an issue that doesn't need to be resolved in the case at bar (Hein could be and was decided without passing on Flast, for example) and aren't going to do so lightly (Rothgery, for example). Nevertheless, I think that once Diane Sykes is confirmed, the court will be flooded with test cases that squarely present the issue.

(2) That said, the Democrats will almost certainly still control the Senate next year. That's really going to limit McCain's ability to put someone who isn't explicitly pro-Roe on the court, unless McCain/Palin utterly crushes Obama a la 1964, in which case it's going to be tough for the dems to resist his pick. Of course, in that circumstance, one would imagine the GOP would reclaim the senate anyway.

I wouldn't rule out this election being a blow out either way. The prevailing wisdom is that it's going to be close, but it's not unimaginable that you'll get a 1964, or even a 1980 where the popular vote was closer but the winner walked away with it in the electoral college. I mean, it's not going to do Barack Obama any good at all to massively increase democratic support in the red states, and come within 1% of McCain in every state.

blake said...

Re Eeyore @ HA:

That's AllahPundit at Hot Air. (Amusing that "Hot Air" works as "Hundred Acre", though.)

He's famous for his pessimistic interpretations of ... everything.

Michael said...

A search of the speech texts on the GOP convention site seems to confirm — a surprising fact: There hasn't been a single mention of Afghanistan at this convention.

Did we win and nobody told us?

Michael said...

And yet another bizarre revelation...and I'd LOVE to hear what people here would be saying if the Democrats did this:

For its "Pledge of Allegiance video" on Tuesday night, the Republican National Convention used stock footage of a staged military funeral, along with actors dressed as soldiers and sailors.

The soldiers were actors and the funeral scene was from a one-day film shoot, produced in June. No real soldiers were used during production.

mcg said...

If the Dems did it, they'd probably have used stock footage from Canadian ceremony.

mcg said...

Did we win and nobody told us?

Who needs words when we have deeds?

Simon said...

Hot Air? Oh. I've heard of that.

;)

Sorry, just didn't recognize the anagram and nickname. I'd just briefly reiterate what I said to Trevor above - I just worry that I'm in a poor position to judge these things because my mind is already made up, and it wasn't remotely a difficult choice. By contrast, the people we need to reach are people who either haven't made up their minds, or who've made it up, are wrong, and need to have their minds changed.

blake said...

My mind wasn't made up until last weekend.

I was going to sit it out, but I will now vote straight Rep ticket--first time ever voting Rep (except Arnie)--to express my dis-satisfaction with the way Palin was treated.

It's weak and it won't amount to much but I don't know what else I can do.

amba said...

I once heard a TV reporter covering some kind of street disturbance conclude with a straight face, "Police reduced the disorder to a semblance."

bagoh20 said...

"But records show that Palin ...was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state."

I beleive that is is one of her responsibilities to her constituents. It is their money by the way. The question is what is it used for. A bridge to nowhere is is not a good use and she eventually redirected it. Would you do different? Have it go to some boondoggle in CA (my state)? We'll waste it for ya.