June 30, 2012

"I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in."

"That's the America I love."

Said Mitt Romney according to Doonesbury, which made fun of it, and Language Log's Geoffrey K. Pullum was initially inclined to mock, and then thought about it, and realized he agreed with it.

One thing that gave him second thoughts is that his co-blogger Mark Liberman had already processed the quote, using the sublime technique of sentence diagramming. Which is nice.

But the more important basis for second thinking is that when you get to Liberman's old post, you find out that Romney didn't even speak those words. Mark Steyn did, and he was purporting to paraphrase Romney, for humorous effect. Pullum found out he was laughing at Steyn and Steyn was trying to make us laugh, and suddenly the quote wasn't funny anymore. Pullum, the liberal, was initially enjoying laughing at Romney — and his vapid dorkiness — and then he found out he was laughing at something a big right-winger — Steyn — had intended as a joke. Hey, that's not funny!

Pullum regains his sense of self-liberalism and goes into 4th of July mode:
It's nearly the 4th of July.... I love being back in America. It's like slipping into an old pair of shoes that really fit.... I don't think I can find anything mistaken in the passage. I think I believe in that America too. God bless it, anyway.
His post ends with a note that it's completely rewritten, because he apparently had originally assumed Romney did say those words, hadn't seen Liberman's old post, and went the mockery.

16 comments:

dreams said...

Never mind!

ricpic said...

I'm a tautological turtle who loves being in my turtle shell on turtle beach with all the other turtle shell loving turtles on our way to being turtle soup.

Carol said...

Well, Steyn's a little bit dishonest, don't you see. His bad.

rosebud said...

It's like liberals who laugh at Sarah Palin saying she can she Russia from her house, with no idea that was an SNL misquote.

Jay said...

Obama is spending the 4th of July in France. So he can kick off a fundraising tour in Europe.

That great patriot that he is...

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes! Just what I was thinking ricpic, comments closed. Because for some reason he thinks it's essential (in his previous post). How's that for language.

That got a period because it's declarative although cloaked as interrogative.

Because I wanted to ask about his problem with the description given of subjunctive and his mentioning a conflict with irrealis and I could have used some help there, but no.

Which in my world was just now phrased in subjunctive mood possibly conditional but either way would be irrealis but now he has me confused and I cannot ask because he's turtling.

m stone said...

Garry Trudeau has not published a single strip in three years remotely critical of the Obama, failing to mine a wealth of material.

edutcher said...

He doesn't know what he believes.

The DNC talking points haven't been downloaded yet.

AJ Lynch said...

Doonesbury's Gary Trudeau is such an America hating pussy.

cubanbob said...

m stone said...
Garry Trudeau has not published a single strip in three years remotely critical of the Obama, failing to mine a wealth of material.

6/30/12 1:27 PM

Does anybody still read him? He is so 90's.

ampersand said...

What is it with Doonesbury? Did you have to be in on it from day one to get the joke? Is there a secret decoder ring? Does it amuse baby boom editors or publishers?
Im confussed.

Penny said...

"He is so 90's."

Well, no he isn't. I suspect he's in his 60's, but I never "got him" either, ampersand.

Until he married Jane Pauly, who way back then was the darling and very beautiful hostess of the "Today" show, along with Tom Brokaw who was her "on-screen husband".

Jane and I were nearly best friends. We had coffee by the TV nearly every morning.

Penny said...

And not that you absolutely needed to know this, but when they fired Jane and brought in Deborah Norville, Jane never cried on air while saying her goodbyes.

Ann Curry, who totally lost it, can't possibly do worse than Jane "who"? Who's married to "who"?

Zach said...

Even if Romney did say it, what's the problem? I believe that America should be the America that millions of Americans have faith in and believe in. If you can find a clever way to express that sentiment, go for it.

In fact, if you wanted to, you could argue that the recursive form of the sentence is a commentary on the subject -- that America is the America that millions of Americans believe in, because they believe in it.

All of this is irrelevant, of course, because Romney never said it. But maybe he should.

MadisonMan said...

with no idea that was an SNL misquote.

It's a direct quote from SNL.

Very effective political satire.

halojones-fan said...

I don't know more than half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.