Words Heard Last Week

Labor Day this year seemed to bring out the strong language.

Jimmy Hoffa Jr. worked up a lather when he spoke at a rally in Wisconsin and then introduced President Obama. Hoffa called for a war on the Tea Party, urging “let’s take these son of a bitches out!” Harsh words, but ungrammatical, too. I was more shocked that he did not properly say “sons of bitches” than that he wants to lay a hurting on us. If you’re going to curse, at least do it grammatically!

The AFL-CIO leader didn’t let it rest, though. He continued his anger and abuse of the English language when he was interviewed later. Hoffa referred to talk show host Rush Limbaugh as “incidiary.” Rush wondered “is it a cross between insidious and incendiary?” When Bush misused words or created them, he was lambasted by the media and dubbed a dunce. Maybe people are too afraid of the Hoffa history to challenge his wordsmithery.

After Obama’s jobs speech, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called his plan “sugar high economics.” He explained that it would give people a burst of activity at the start of the stimulus only to give them a drop later. Such a plan would be short on nutrition – economically speaking – a situation Michelle would not approve.

Everyone’s “favorite” conservative at the New York Times, David Brooks, saw the speech and reacted differently. He said the president was a “convener in chief,” explaining that he would get other people to contribute ideas and then compose a plan. Or do we call that idea shoplifting? I guess it’s different when you work at the New York Times.

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