Thursday, December 9, 2010

Infuriating Phrases

Are you as tired as I am of political speak? You know, the phrases pols use interminably to shovel their pablum down our collective throats? Whether left or right, liberal or conservative, or even independent, these elected preening elites and talking head pundits seem to always use the same catch phrases to make their points. Need examples? Here's a few:

"On the ground." This is usually used to describe what's actually happening where people live and work, or where soldiers are digging foxholes, or in the real world, as opposed to the theoretical and ethereal ivory tower hoped-for results, this phrase would go something like this: "Events are unfolding almost exactly as envisioned, because the successes "on the ground" bely the results correctly anticipated by our highly-qualified supporters and widely vilified by our Godless adversaries." It's simply a way to cap an argument with gobbledygook and sound like you know whereof you speak.

"At the end of the day." A politician or pundit rambles on and on for several paragraphs about this or that with some "on the one hand" and a little bit of "on the other hand" posits, creatively covering all the bases, and winds up with "…so, at the end of the day," we can expect such-and-such to likely occur. This means, I guess, that when all's said and done, the results should be as projected. Unless they aren't. In all fairness, President Clinton used a variation on this theme. His preferred paragraph capper was, "…when the last dog dies."

"Created or saved." This is the one which infuriates me most. The Obama Administration has, it says, "created or saved" 3.5 Million jobs since it stuffed the more than $800 Billion stimulus plan up our collective arses a year and a half ago. "Created," I can understand. But "saved"? The Plan was guaranteed to keep unemployment below 8%. And then it zoomed to nearly 10%. And has, as we're all aware, stayed there. So what's a politician to do? Simple. You just figure out how many jobs you need to have saved, an immeasurable quantity, don't you know, in order to stay in power, and that's the number of jobs you saved. Clever, huh?

"Going/Moving forward." This is pol speak for pay no attention at all to what just happened. Let's focus on the future. So if an elected official wishes to deflect your steely gaze from failed policies, wasted resources, missed opportunities, shaded truths and ethical lapses, he or she only has to say, "…and in summation, 'going forward…" to create a bookmark between the chapters of his bloviation. Don't look back, Mr. and Mrs. America, even though that's where my track record and every indication of what the future holds can be found. Absolutely not. Look only forward. Because that's where the (my) future lay…

There are many others. I'm sure you have some of your own. But let's all agree that we shouldn't need a Rosetta Stone to decipher what our employees in D. C. and Sacramento and even City Hall actually mean by what they are saying. Or, then again, maybe it's better that we don't actually know. At least we won't get sick to our stomachs that way…


  1. Chuckmeister, you need to chill out, dude! You gotta just put those feet "on the ground" and "keep moving forward" because, "at the end of the day" you will have "created or saved" your sanity! :-) :-)

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  3. Oh Potstirrer, my friend... My sanity would first have to be "created" before it could be "saved."

  4. You forgot my two favorites:

    1. "Contributions". When a politician uses that word watch you wallet.

    2. "Investments" Politician speak for spending/wasting your money.


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