Monday, September 29, 2008

Dog Whistle or Warning Sign?

After 8 years of mangled syntax and mispronounced words, it seems that it has become Republican orthodoxy to pronounce fairly mundane words in slightly exotic ways. I'm not refering to big foreign tongue twisters like "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" (i.e. "Ackyminniejabs, the new Adlorf Hilter") or new Pakistani president "Asif Ali Zardari", but rather to the name of our nation's capital.

He's been there in one form or another since attending the National War College in 197e and although he is older than dirt the name had been changed from Foggy Bottom a far while before he was born, yet for some reason Senator McCain insists on pronouncing Washington DC:


Is this a signal to his base that although a member of the establishment by any ordinary reckoning, McCain is so contemptous of "gov'mint" that he refuses to even pronounce the name of the first president properly?

Or rather is he proving himself to be dogged, principled, cunning, and as thick as two short planks?

In any case, if it is now ok to just make up pronunciations for long accepted names, I think I'll start refering to the good senator and his adopted home state of Arizona as "Jerrrrn MickCarrrrrrn of Arrrrrhhhhhrrowzima" from now on. Maybe it'll confuse a few of the Gunrack MacButtcracks out there at the very least....

McCain insists it is "Wahhhrrshingtorn": he looked it up on the original Blackberry that he claims to have invented (pictured)


Margaret Evans Porter said...

By being in Washington so very long, McCain has evidently absorbed the local pronunciation of the city. Which, I'm sorry to inform you, is "Warshington."

One of my parents was raised in DC yet never picked up the habit.

If you go here and scroll allllll the way down to the letter W, you'll find confirmation.

The prevailing theory is that the peculiar quirk developed due to Washington's proximity to Appalachia.

In my opinion nothing can excuse, nor credibly explain, the heinous and all too frequent references by far too many people to a US citizen as an "Amurrican."

weasel said...

But I thought he was a maverick Washington outsider?

And frankly, what an odd thing to do: one doesn't hear British MPs from the north, or Wales, or Scotland etc suddenly break out of their accents to say "LAAAHHHNDAAAN" like some full bore cockney whenever they discuss the British capital. Given the greater distances and cherished regionalism in the US you'd expect American pols to avoid that sort of thing like the plague. Although, he did spend a chunk of his teenage years in northern Virginia.

Regardless, he should try to rectify it: it makes him sound like the grandpa on South Park.

Mainecatwoman said...

At least, he can say "nuclear" correctly...which is more than we can say for the president and his female clone Gov. Palin..