is alleged irascibility germane to the issue? da! nyet!

FFROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (August 8, 2013, page A3) is a piece from The Washington Post addressing President Obama’s “snubbing” of Russian President Vladimir Putin over the granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, Mr. Putin is described as “shrewd but famously irascible . . . with a deep suspicion of U.S. motives.”

Two observations, the first of which is grammatical: irascible is defined as “marked by hot temper and easily provoked anger” by Merriam-Webster Online. Whether or not Putin is, in fact, hot tempered, is utterly irrelevant to the conversation. That is Putin’s ability to manage his anger has nothing to do with the alleged snubbing.

On the other hand, Mr. Obama’s also alleged irascibility would be germane to the issue being discussed. Of course, it is not mentioned . . .

Second, any politician in any country in the world—including the United States—who does NOT harbor a “deep suspicion of U.S. motives” should NOT be elected and should NOT be entrusted with any position of power, within government or without.


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HEADER IMAGE: Another fine fine superfine cartoon by Seattle’s own (well, sort of our own) David Horsey, perhaps the best American political cartoonist of his generation.


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William Strunk Jr’s original edition of The Elements Of Style (1919) was all of fifty-three pages long. In 1959, it was revised and expanded by one of his students, the famous children’s book author E.B. White. It is one of the best selling and most influential grammar and punctuation books ever published. I have used the authors’ names for one of the categories of this site: Strunkandwhiten It! For more information, refer to “On William Strunk and Elements of Style.”


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