Wednesday, March 14, 2007


A colleague just passed along this link, where Bush complains twice about a teethache. Makes my teeth hurt just to type, if not in a prescriptivist kind of way. (It doesn't actually sound that bad to me, I just hate toothaches.) This gets only 510 g-hits, mostly from what are clearly non-native speakers of English. Seems an unlikely dialect thing — can't be his ultra-rich Yankee background and I lived in Texas for a while and don't recall it from there. (The relevant volume of DARE isn't out yet, so can't easily check there even.)

Update, 5:26 pm: Sorry, folks, I blew this one. The colleague who passed on the link expressly told me that the transcript had corrected the spoken form to toothache, and I utterly failed to note that in my haste to get something up as I raced from one obligation to another all day. So, yeah, Ridger, you got it exactly right. Thanks. (If readers haven't visited The Ridger's blog, The Greenbelt, you should. And I don't say that merely because we're originally from different sides of the same old mountain range.) Mr. Verb, I'm beginning to believe that only a true man of leisure like you can blog ... .


The Ridger, FCD said...

You know, I think a lot of the talk about his inability to speak English is overblown, but now and then he comes up with something which is just completely non-native. Like this, or reading "three Shakespeares".

It's unnerving.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Oddly - or not - the print version says "toothache" - but the audio is clearly "teethache", both times he says it.