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In American English, a Bushism is a word or phrase unique to the style of President George W. Bush while speaking publicly and usually extemporaneously. While any public figure speaking in so many venues over time is prone to unflattering errors, Bush's regular use of unusual grammatical construction has some common characteristics that have given him a hallmark style:

  • Adding agentive endings to words not usually accustomed to such treatment, such as suiciders, game changer, and truth teller
  • Splicing words together in unusual combinations, such as misunderestimated
  • Odd sentence agreement, such as "We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who's a parent, and a mom or a dad."

Quotes from Bush's speeches that create an impression of incompetence are also called Bushisms. Many quotes include misconceptions about geography, history, political process and the world in general, but there is no easy way to tell how many of them reflect Bush's knowledge and opinions and how many are just results of verbal mishaps.

The term Bushism has become widely recognized, partly due to book titles and Web sites dedicated to the President's quotations.

Bushism can also describe the doctrine of the George W. Bush administration, especially as seen by foreigners, though this term is not as widely used as with the former context. Journalist E.J. Dionne, Jr. , wrote in The Washington Post, January 27, 2002:

"Government isn't the solution, government is the problem," Ronald Reagan said. "Too often, my party has confused the need for limited government with a disdain for government itself," says Bush. This is the essence of Bushism: By rejecting pure anti-government rhetoric, Bush has left himself more room to reduce the size of government. [1]

See also

Further reading

  • Miller, Mark Crispin. The Bush Dyslexicon. ISBN 0393041832.
  • George W. Bushisms: The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President. Ed. Joseph Weisberg. ISBN 0740744569.

External links

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45