Plain English - Rumsfeld Wins Award

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Imported

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    tracksuitboy: From BBC News, 2nd December:

    Rum remark wins Rumsfeld an award

    US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has won a "Foot in Mouth" award for one of his now legendary bizarre remarks.
    Mr Rumsfeld won the prize for comments made at a news conference in February last year which left observers baffled:

    Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know

    The British Plain English Campaign annually hands out the prize for the most nonsensical remark made by a public figure.

    Stiff competition
    A spokesman for the organisation, which tries to ensure public information is delivered in a clear manner, said Mr Rumsfeld's remarks were typical of the kind of comments they were trying to prevent.

    "We think we know what he means," he told Reuters news agency. "But we don't know if we really know."

    Mr Rumsfeld fought off stiff competition for the award from actor turned California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among others.

    Mr Schwarzenegger weighed in on the gay marriage debate with the comment "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

    And European Commissioner Chris Patten came close with his remark that the British Conservative Party had committed political suicide and was now living to regret it.

    Previous winners of the award have included US actress Alicia Silverstone and actor Richard Gere.

    But despite Mr Rumsfeld's rather outlandish mode of speaking, fans of the tough-talking US defence secretary argue he is misunderstood.

    There are dozens of websites dedicated to the "poetry" of Mr Rumsfeld and there is even a book, entitled Pieces of Intelligence, dedicated to interpreting his statements as a form of existential writing.

    Rumsfeld has also said: I believe what I said yesterday. I don't know what I said, but I know what I think... and I assume it's what I said

    Well, that's clear then!
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I have a feeling that if Plato or Socrates had posited the subject it would have come out much the same. In that case the statement would have been admired and seriously studied for its profoundness.

    I remember the news conference in which Rumsfeld made the statement. I thought it was silly only in that Rummy didn't tell the reporter, who'd asked a stupid hypothetical question, that it was a stupid hypothetical question.

    Pecker

    ``I quite agree with you,'' said the Duchess; ``and the moral of that is - `Be what you would seem to be' - or, if you'd like it put more simply - `Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.' ''
    Lewis Carroll, ``Alice's Adventures in Wonderland''
     
  3. Imported

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    tracksuitboy: Lewis Carroll wasn't a US Secretary with the capability of sending soldiers to their death.  It doesn't matter if the question was stupid (most reporter's questions are!); the answer shouldn't have been so messy.

    Lewis Carroll probably was whacked out on acid when he wrote Alice; the most bizarre book in the world.

    And I think you took the award far too seriously.
     
  4. Imported

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    str8_nnj: ....I guess that depends on what "is" is
     
  5. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    [quote author=tracksuitboy link=board=99;num=1070366416;start=0#2 date=12/02/03 at 05:21:56]Lewis Carroll probably was whacked out on acid when he wrote Alice; the most bizarre book in the world.
    [/quote]

    The most bizarre book in the world? Really? I think The Book of Revelation merits that distinction! Sure, Revelation's most disturbing images are symbolic, but they're very unsettling to literalists! BTW ... I love Jabberwocky!
     
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