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George W. Bush.

The term Bushism is a neologism that refers to a number of unconventional words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, and semantic or linguistics errors that have occurred in and defined the public speaking of former United States President George W. Bush and, much less notably, of his father George H. W. Bush, also a former president of the United States.[1][2][3] The term 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. Common characteristics include malapropisms, the creation of neologisms, spoonerisms, stunt words, and grammatically incorrect subject-verb agreement.

This occasional misuse of the English language in formal and public speeches has spawned several books that document the statements. The first, Bushisms/President George Herbert Walker Bush in His Own Words, was released in 1992. A poem entitled Make the Pie Higher, composed entirely of Bushisms, was compiled by high school English teacher Dirk Schulze under the pseudonym of Richard Thompson, as an example of a found poem for his students.[4]

[edit] Notable statements

[edit] General

  • "They misunderestimated me."[5] — Bentonville, Ark., November 6, 2000
  • "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."[6] — Nashville, Tenn., September 17, 2002
  • "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."[7] — LaCrosse, Wis., October 18, 2000
  • "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."[8] — Saginaw, Mich., September 29, 2000
  • "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 this country."[9] — Poplar Bluff, Missouri, September 6, 2004
  • "Before I arrived in President, During I arrived in President."[10] — ABC News interview, December 1, 2008
  • "I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened."[11] (Announcing he will write a book about "the 12 toughest decisions" he had to make.)

[edit] Foreign affairs

  • "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."[12] — Washington, D.C., August 5, 2004
  • "We were trying to say something differently, but nevertheless it conveyed a different message". — January 12, 2009 Press Conference (Time Magazine, January 26, 2009, p13).

[edit] Economics

  • "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."[4] — Greater Nashua, N.H., January 27, 2000
  • "I understand small business growth. I was one." — New York Daily News, February 19, 2000

[edit] Education

  • "Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?"[4] — Florence, S.C., January 11, 2000
  • "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."[13] — Townsend, Tennessee, February 21, 2001

[edit] See also

[edit] Related linguistic elements

[edit] References

  1. ^ Bines, Jonathan (May 1992). Bushisms: President George Herbert Walker Bush in His Own Words. Workman Pub Co. ISBN 1-56305-318-7. 
  2. ^ "George H.W. Bushisms". About: Political Humor. http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnyquotes/a/georgehwbushism.htm. Retrieved on 2007-03-24. 
  3. ^ "The 'misunderestimated' president?". BBC. January 7, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7809160.stm. Retrieved on 2009-01-23. "The word "Bushism" has been coined to label his occasional verbal lapses during eight years in office, which come to an end on 20 January." 
  4. ^ a b c "Make the Pie Higher!". Snopes.com. 2002. http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/piehigher.asp. Retrieved on 2006-10-12. 
  5. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: The Miseducation of America". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870961,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: Can't Fool This Guy". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870944,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: The Wings Beneath His Wind". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870962,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: Fish Are Friends". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870961,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: The Love Doctor is In". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870953,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Transcript: Charlie Gibson Interviews President Bush". ABC News. December 1, 2008. http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Politics/Story?id=6356046. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  11. ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/17/politics/main4872843.shtml?source=RSSattr=Politics_4872843
  12. ^ "Top Ten Bushisms: Your Own Worst Enemy?". Time. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1870938_1870943_1870951,00.html. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Perspectives". Newsweek. Marcj 5, 2001. http://www.newsweek.com/id/80057. Retrieved on March 2, 2009. 

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

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