Monday, March 28, 2011

James O'Keefe and the Five Dollar Words

This story on NPR's On the Media cracked me up.

My favorite bit is James O'Keefe's obtuse diction. Check out this line at 5:07:

No, we show these egregious statements on tape and I don't think that anything is mitigated by that. It's a logical nonsequiter for you to say, "Well, in the other parts of the tape he said non-egregious things, therefore it exculpates him."

It seems that O'Keefe's thesaurus is missing a few pages. He just keeps using the same five dollar words repeatedly like at 7:34 in:

Unless you can point to a specific thing in the tape that mitigates or exculpates the egregious statements made by the employees, you're just using obfuscation.

He sounds like one of those under-educated people who latch on to a few important-sounding words and bandies them about without knowing what they really mean.


Anonymous said...

Kind of like characters in the Coen Brothers films. They like to have "undereducated" people use big words either in the wrong way or badly pronounced. This is as much of a theme in their films as kidnappings.

Mike White said...

I like when they mix the high tone and the low -- like this exchange:

Ed McDonnough: My "fy-ance" left me.

H.I.: She said her fiancé had run off with a student cosmetologist, who knew how to ply her feminine wiles.

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