Websters—2011

As these new entries in the 2011 Webster’s dictionary illustrate, the English language continues to evolve. Remember, to truly learn new words it’s important to integrate them into your speech as much as possible.

• dinorossi—to repeatedly come up just short of one’s objective. Also rossied or d-rossied. I hit the jump hard and caught major air but rossied the landing.

• notredame—of or pertaining to a once great individual or group that is loathe to accept its obvious decline. Also notredamed; notredamenation. Like Ancient Romans, 21st century citizens of the United States were caught off guard by their collective notredamenation.

• christopherhitchens—the incessant turning of events and topics into unmitigated negatives. Also c-hitched. I enjoyed Lester Brown’s newest book until he returned to form and c-hitched half way through.

• obamathon—something doomed, over time, by unrealistic expectations. Also female-obamamama; conservative-obamanation. It became clear early in the season that Jake Locker’s Heisman Trophy campaign was an obamathon to the voters.

• tigerwoods—to forego one’s family and reputation for extramarital sex. Also tdub; tdubbed; tdubbing. The South Carolina Governor said, “The hell with it, where’s my hiking boots and map of the Appalachian Trail? I’m tdubbing it.”

• claybennett—1) to say one thing and do another; 2) to steal. Also cbennett; cbenn; cbenned; claybennetted. 1) Whenever I call her, it’s someone else, think she cbenned me? 2) I didn’t have my wallet and was really hungry, so I claybennetted some powder donuts.

• nancypelosi—to fake smile even when deeply angered. Also nancypelosied. Despite the auditor’s obnoxiousness, I nancypelosied my way through the IRS interview.

• hailegebreselassie—to dominate opponents at different times and in different contexts, also gebb; gebbed; hgebb; hgebbed. Again, Ron gebbed Dave and Lance throughout the 2010 cycling season.


Politics Stream of Consciousness

• Just like her opponent, Senator Murkowski from Alaska says she wants to reduce spending and reduce the national debt. And then in the same breath she says she will work hard to maintain all of Alaska’s federal funding because one-third of Alaskans’ jobs depend upon it. And she might win as a write-in candidate. So what she meant is she wants to reduce federal spending in the other forty nine states.

• Newsflash, President Obama is ordinary. The problem of course is that he was an extraordinary campaigner. ARod isn’t supposed to hit .255, Tiger isn’t supposed to be a Ryder Cup captain’s pick, and Meryl Streep isn’t supposed to make bad movies. He’s a victim of unrealistic expectations. I’m cautiously optimistic that he makes the necessary adjustments and steadily improves throughout years three and four.

• In a recent Washington State Senate debate Dino Rossi and Patty Murray were both asked two times if they would raise the minimum age for full social security benefits. Neither answered. Four non-responses. Are any politicians willing to tell constituents what they need to hear and not just what they want to? Why couldn’t Rossi or Murray say what’s so painfully obvious, “Yes, for the well-to-do at least, we’re probably going to have to raise the minimum age for full social security benefits again. More generally, we have to make serious changes to our entitlement programs to have any hope of balancing the budget and reducing the national debt.” I’m sure their non-responses are based upon political science research. By desiring honest, straightforward, specific, succinct answers, guess I’m in the minority.

• Juan Williams has been fired by NPR for comments made on Bill O’Reilly’s show. I met him once in Kyoto, Japan. I agree 100% with this commentary on his firing. As the Quakers say, “That Friend speaks my mind.”

• Get a load of French high schoolers. When I taught high school I struggled to get my students to think beyond Friday night’s game and dance. In contrast, these adolescents are protesting something over forty years down the road, having to work to 62 instead of 60. Talk about long-term thinking. Guess they anticipate hating whatever they’ll end up doing for a living and maybe they already have detailed plans for when they’re 60 and 61.

• Favorite campaign development. . . multimillionaire candidates spending tens or hundreds (in the case of Meg Whitman) of their own millions and still looking like they’ll lose.