Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oops, the president can't pronounce what???!

Someone at the White House goofed (guu-fed) by putting a marked-up draft of Bush’s speech on the U.N. Website, showing phonetic (fo-net-ic) spellings for words the prez was thought capable of stumbling on.

The expectation was Bush, despite having just spent time with him, might have trouble pronouncing the name of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sar-KO-zee), and Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH-bee as well as Kyrgyzstan (KEYR-geez-stan), Mauritania (moor-EH-tain-ee-a) and the Zimbabwe capital Harare (hah-RAR-ray). As for the Iranian President, well, they simply decided to omit him entirely. We can only hope that Bush's difficulty with the name may put off our attacking Iran. Could it be that the president's fondness for doling out nicknames is because they're easier for him to pronounce?

Bush, when speaking extemporaneously, can be counted on to misspeak. At a recent summit meeting in Australia, he called APEC, “OPEC” and referred to the troops in Iraq as “Austrian”, instead of Australian. It's fair to say he has a limited range of expression...as well as expressions. About anyone who resigns or dies, he says, "He's a good man" before licking his lips and smirking. It would be interesting to compare a typical third grader's vocabulary with that of the leader of the free world. For me, Bush's most egregious gaff was saying, “I will run”, when the right choice was, “I will not run”.