Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You took the words wrong out of my mouth

Steven Poole deftly nails a sneaky way of lying oneself out of a lie:

Increasingly, we hear politicians who are caught out in deceptions, fantasies or bullshit say, in answer, simply: “I mis-spoke”. …
It is useful, to say one “mis-spoke”. You acknowledge that what you said was absolute balls, but the fault is not your own, as it would be if you had lied or been wrong. No, the fault is somehow in the faculty of speech itself, something going wrong in the course of that complex magic between brain, lip and others’ ears.

[I’ve added hyphens; Steven’s original ‘misspoke’ lends itself to mispronunciation.]

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

I thought Miss-Poke was what Governor Spitzer did ;-)