Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bush mispronounces again

I was in meetings and stuff all day yesterday but just caught a comment on the radio that Bush had botched Olmert's and Abbas's names at the big meeting yesterday — both names, in sequence. It happened in a statement he read at Annapolis, and the video is up at ThinkProgress.
  • Olmert comes out like Omult or something — Bush often loses laterals (l-sounds) at the ends of syllables, and liquids (l and r sounds) are prone to getting moved around in speech errors and sound change, certainly. (Look up the history of pilgrim for one example.)
  • I had wondered how in the world you could ruin Abbas but it turns out he blows the first name. Mahmoud comes out something like [ma.hú:ǝd], with a very clear stumble.
I know that he has worked hard to entirely ignore what is probably the single most important conflict in the world for seven years, but how is this is remotely possible? Even if they gave him the 'phonetic' cue cards like they have done in the past, how could anybody who follows politics not be able to say Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas smoothly? And I gather he left after the introductory meeting?


Anonymous said...

OK, the only way I can imagine this -- assuming Bush is not truly and fundamentally stupid and stunningly out of touch -- is that they did give him the pronunciation spelling and he stumbled over that. That is, I'm guessing the cues got in the way of the reading.

The Ridger, FCD said...

It may be an unconscious reflection of how profoundly uninterested he is. Or, perhaps, not so unconscious. I can't imagine how Rice got him there in the first place. His flubbing the names may have been a way of showing that lack of interest. It's not like he cares if people think he's dumb - I think he almost flourishes on being "misunderestimated".

Mr. Verb said...

Thanks. Yeah, I tried to work that one through too, up to a point. I just figured that if he's concerned with the historical record and his legacy (like the press says), and that this is a chance to salvage something, he wouldn't act like that.

It's a small thing, but an alarming deal, in a way.

The Ridger, FCD said...

In a way, I think he doesn't care about the Palestinian problem because he intend(s/ed) his legacy to be a last Pax Americana in the Mideast brought about by our actions in Iraq and Iran, after which the Palestinians will fall into line and settle down.