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A Bushism is any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors and gaffes that have occurred in the public speaking of former United States President George W. Bush and, before that, of his father George H. W. Bush. The term (a neologism) has become part of popular folklore, and is the basis of a number of websites and published books. It is often used to caricature the two presidents. Characteristics George W. Bush's uses of nonstandard grammatical constructions have some common characteristics:
How he did itEdit
Use of words that sound similar to intended words but are either inappropriate for the context (i.e. malapropism, such as "Nucular power pants" instead of "Nuclear power plants), or completely alter the meaning of the sentence (such as using "devaluation" instead of "deflation", which "caused confusion in the currency markets" ). Constructing neologisms such as "tacular (a portmanteau of "tactical" and "nucular") and "misunderestimated" ("misunderstood" and "underestimated"). Occasional use of spoonerisms such as "mexed missages" (mixed messages) and "terriers and bariffs" (barriers and tariffs). Folksy pluralization of, or addition of articles to, familiar terms ("suiciders", "Internets", and "the Google). Redundant or odd sentence construction, such as "We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who's a parent, and a mom or a dad. Change of subject mid-sentence, such as, "I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport. Wrong word order within a sentence, such as, "give my chance a plan to work" Some columnists, including the late Molly Ivins (the co-author of a book of Bushisms), have suggested that Bush may have difficulty speaking "Washington English", and that he may be trying to cover his accent by over-emphasizing words. Some have hypothesized that Bush is not familiar with some of the words that he feels he must use as a president.
"Make the Pie Higher" poemEdit
A poem composed entirely of Bushisms titled " Make the Pie Higher" has become popular on the Internet. Each line contains some sort of grammatical error, logical error, or unusual usage and is said to have been uttered by George W. Bush. Although its origin is uncertain, it has been attributed to Washington Post political cartoonist and satirist Richard Thompson. The poem has been criticized as apocryphal. However, the Urban Legends Reference Pages at Snopes.com have verified all but the line "I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity" as having been spoken by Bush at one point or another during his presidency. The site has also noted that the president made reference to "mential losses", not "mental losses" as the poem claims. This phrase was possibly in reference to missile launches. A song composed entirely of Bushisms is Hail to the Chief by John McCutcheon.
- "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?"
- "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
- "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
- "Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die."
- "I think that the vice president is a person reflecting a half-glass-full mentality."
- "You're working hard to put food on your family."
- "... able to make a living and ... put more money on the table."
- "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country."
- "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
- "This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses."
- "They misunderestimated ..."
- "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says: fool me once, shame on ... (long pause) shame on you? (long pause) Fool me - you can't get fooled again.
- "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.
- "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of ... people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble—that means not]] tell the truth."
- "Africa is a nation that suffers incredible disease."
- "We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile."
- Answering a child's question about how the White House is: "It is white."
- "The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."
- What the damn Bolivians or anyone else in Europe know about law and order in Texas I can't imagine." Since when was Bolivia in Europe?