Monday, December 1, 2008
We all have out quirks. Some are cute. Some are silly. Some are ... aggravating. Mine? I don't have quirks. Just my own special way of doing things. Like taking care about what I say. Words are important. Some people refuse to say certain words. They'll come up with substitutes for other words. This is common with profanity. The word "darn" for instance is used by some instead of "damn." The TV show Battlestar Galactica came up with the word "frack" (in the 1970s series; it's "frak" in the current series). It, of course, is used instead of the word ... well, you know what word it replaces. The list goes on and on. My biggest quirk about words, though, isn't about finding replacements for curse words. Its about avoiding words that ... seem worse. For instance, there are two words that I've never used. And another two words I don't plan to use. Oh, I've used the words separately. But never together. In my lifetime, I've referred most Presidents by their title and name. But not all. I never referred to President Eisenhower as such during his presidency. I was too young. Same thing with President Kennedy. I've used the phrases "President Eisenhower" and "President Kennedy" but never during their terms in office. Or, at least, if I did, I don't remember doing it. But, beginning with President Johnson, I remember using the title with the name. Also with President Nixon, President Ford, President Carter, President Reagan, and President Bush. With the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, though, I just couldn't bring myself to say ... that phrase. Really. I've never written it. I've never uttered it. I can hardly think it. During those years, I referred to Bill Clinton either by his name ("Bill Clinton" or "William Jefferson Clinton" depending on the circumstances), or by his title alone. I would say "the President" or "the Commander in Chief" or whatever the circumstances called for. But I never could bring myself to say ... those two words together. That phrase. Still can't stomach it. And now, Barack Hussein Obama will likely be elected to the highest office in the land. When the electors meet in two weeks, it would be very, very, very, very, very unlikely for those pledged to Barack Hussein Obama to do anything other than vote for Barack Hussein Obama. We'll find out for certain in January, when the votes of the electors are actually opened and counted. I don't expect a surprise. Which means that I'll be spending the next four years using other words to describe the person sitting in the Oval Office. Right now, I have no problem calling the current office-holder by his title and name: President Bush. Come noon January 20th, I won't be able to say those two words: the combination of the office and the name. But not to worry. There are plenty of other words and phrases I have for the likes of Barack Hussein Obama.