Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Traveler's Dictionary

Many visitors to the United States are unfamiliar with the idiosyncratic version of English we speak here, and may become confused. As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I thought I would offer a small phrasebook of common American locutions, with their translations into standard English. Readers are invited to add to this.

I'm not racist, but . . . : I'm racist.

I'm not racist in any way, shape or form: I hate the mud people more than I love life.

Liberal media: Reporters who slip up and describe elements of observable reality inconsistent with conservative ideology.

Bipartisanship: Resolutely support the glorious revolutionary line of Dear Leader, the People's inspiration, from whom storm clouds shrink as he passes.

Centrism: Foaming at the mouth right wing radicalism.

Moral values: Hatred.

Human life begins at conception: Human life ends at birth (and is resurrected at brain death).

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Emptiness; the void that binds.

National security: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Support the troops: Make as many 19 year old pregnant widows as possible.

Big government: Grandma's next meal.

Liberty: Sanford Weil's next Lear Jet.

Well, that's probably enough to study for one day. After several weeks, you should be able to master American English. Enjoy your visit!

UPDATE: I should have included this one in the first place. Sorry.

Dead insurgents: Dead children.

U.S. says 13 rebels killed in airstrike.

Police and hospital officials in the area offered a conflicting account, saying the airstrike hit the village of Zaidan south of
Abu Ghraib and flattened four houses, killing 45 people, including women, children and old people.

An Associated Press photo showed the body of a boy in the back of a pickup truck at the nearby Fallujah hospital and people there said he was a victim of the Zaydan airstrike. Other photos showed several wounded children being treated in the hospital.

Thamir al-Dulaimi, a doctor with the Fallujah Public Hospital, said 20 other civilians from the village were being treated, while a highway patrol officer said civilian cars were being used to bring the wounded to the hospital.

It's the same old song.

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