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  • Wednesday, June 29, 2005


    The Cant of Cant

    Cant, n: the expression or repetition of conventional, trite, or unconsidered opinions or sentiments; esp. the insincere use of pious phraseology. vi: to talk hypocritically.

    I have officially become cynical of any political figure who uses certain words or phrases in public speech. It's not that the words themselves are meaningless, just that current political use of them has rendered them null and void. These phrases are now overused options for filling in adjective and noun blanks. Blanks like the ones in Mad Libs(tm)™.

    I'm not asserting that these words are always meaningless in the mouths of politicians, just oh, 97% of the time. If these words appear, you can bet your fairy boots they are being cited to arouse a blindly patriotic knee-jerk or to focus hatred. I would like to suggest that when you hear these words, you substitute the following phrases. This should clarify the actual intent of the speaker and help you understand what is really being said.
    Now I know Democrats are almost as guilty as Republicans of using such inspiring/nauseating rhetoric but as an example try taking a look at President Bush's speech from June 28, 2005 on Iraq. Not all of the phrases above are in the speech but try interpreting his use of the ones that are in the speech. Make up your own interpretations! However I don't advise making a drinking game out of his use of the words terror or terrorist. You will end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. There's about thirty instances of the words in the speech by my count.

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