Once is a Gaffe…

…So what do you call four times?

We all heard about Obama’s outrageous mispronunciation of corpsman last week. In case you missed it:

Now, he doesn’t just do it once, he does it three times. THREE TIMES. A Navy corpsman is a combat medic, trained and able to do things that you’ll never be able to see in any war movie. If you want to know who the Marines hold in high regard, it’s the corpsman that goes out with their unit and treats their injuries while being shot at themselves. It is not “corpse-man”, it is “CORR-man”.

I hadn’t really said anything, but I felt I had to this time. Why? Michelle Malkin posted a video that shows it’s not the first time O-blah-ma has made this error. Back in October 2009, he said it right in front of a Navy audience:

Make a mistake once (like making an oopsie while reciting an old saying, “fool me once, shame on…who, again?”), it’s a gaffe. Once can be forgiven. Four times? You’re a bona-fide idiot.

(In other news, it was announced today that former Congressman Charlie Wilson passed away today in his hometown of Lufkin; more on that as I am capable of finding further info.)

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16 thoughts on “Once is a Gaffe…

  1. “Consistency: It’s only a virtue if you’re not a screwup.” This is a pretty silly mispronunciation but of course we must all ignore it unless a conservative or a Republican does it. Right? Ugh.

  2. Andy, I couldn’t stand hearing Bush say “nuke-u-lar”. It drove me nuts. I can’t stand hearing anybody mispronounce that word, because it isn’t difficult to correctly pronounce. I was not, however, willing to lambast Bush as an idiot over it; several of my very intelligent, well-educated friends mispronounce it the same way. I give them a little bit of ribbing and that’s the end of it.

    This “mistake” was bad enough the first time. I really don’t want to read in the paper about how Obama practiced his salute several times to get it right out of respect for the troops when he can’t even pronounce the title of one of the most revered groups in the US Navy.

    Steve–did you see Robert Gibbs’ childish swipe at Palin yesterday? Palin’s “hi mom” was classy. Gibbs is an ass.

  3. Just have to say that a relative is a Nuclear Physicist. and all of my life, my grandparent (his parents), aunts, uncles, parents, and everyone else, including me, referred to him as a Nuculear physicist.

    Could it be that like corpsman became coreman, nuclear became nuculear?

    I’m going back 50 years on this and I am sure that the pronunciation was always nuculear.

    I also have a friend whose father is a nuclear physicist and they also say nuculear.

    On the opposing side will mention that at the same time, if anyone said “ain’t” they were told it was not a word. Over time, it was incorporated into the dictionary.

    The pronunciation of Corpsman ( Coreman) and Colonel ( Kernal) has been established over many decades as they related to earlier titles, variants in language and dialect.

    What does not make sense is the fact that the Commander In Chief would not have learned the proper pronunciation before speaking.

    Wasn’t it Obama who said that because he had heard his name mis-pronounced so many times that it was important to him to get it right when he spoke about others names? And he worked really hard to make sure that we all understood that Pakistan should be pronounced Pak-ee-stan?

  4. Trust me, Gibbs is an easy target.

    Palin will get him back when he least expects it.

    I kind of feel sorry for Gibbs, he so wants to be perceived as “clever” and everytime he thinks he gets a chance to be, he thinks “yes! this is my time to be noticed!”

    Sarah’s not wired that way, she doesn’t need her ego gratified every ten seconds, but she always plows through stuff like that because she simply stands on the side of good.

  5. Gibbs is no Tony Snow. Or Ari Fliescher. Or Mike McCurry.

    He’s slightly more charismatic than Scott McClellan, but then so is a bag of rocks.

    And I don’t get it at all – I figure it’s a political appointment, but it should also be an important one. The Obama team has no shortage of people who are quick thinkers and speakers and are engaging – no one gets elected without a good campaign team surrounding them. One would think they would appoint a press secretary from within that pool.

  6. On the issue of “nuclear” and how to say it, linguists have pointed out that “NOOK-yoo-lar” pronunciation is almost inevitable because it fits the prevailing phonetic pattern of such commonly used words as “particular,” “spectacular,” “binoculars,” “molecular,” “vehicular,” and so forth. (In all of these, you have the unstressed syllables “-kyoo-ler” coming right after a stressed syllable.)

    On the other hand, there aren’t any other well-known words — if indeed there are any words at all — that fit the pattern of “NU-klee-yer.” (The word “unclear” doesn’t count because it’s spoken with the stress falling on the “klee” syllable, rather than coming immediately before it.)

    I’m not arguing that you have to accept “NOOK-yoo-ler” for this reason; just pointing out that people say it this way (a) because they hear other people saying it, including educated people; and (b) it seems to fit a prevailing pattern established by other words.

    But neither (a) nor (b) can be offered as a defense of “corpse-man”!

  7. Note: Be sure to watch the first video clip to the very end — Obama compounds his ridiculousness by quoting the “corpseman” in Haitian (but of course he even takes care to remind us rubes that the language of Haiti is more properly called “Kriyol”) . I have no idea how accurately he pronounced the Haitian phrase that means “from the U.S.,” but presumably he had his assistants go to the trouble of verifying the foreign phrase and perhaps respelling it phonetically so that he could get the pronunciation within the ballpark, at least.

    Alas, they just took it for granted that Obama already knew how to pronounce the English word “corpsman”!

    This seems like a lose-lose situation for the underlings on Obama’s staff — do you take the risk of condescending to your boss by reminding him beforehand that “oh, by the way, Mr. President, don’t forget that the ‘p’ and ‘s’ in corpsman are silent”? Or do you take the chance that he might fuck up on live TV because you failed to adequately prep him?

  8. Pathetic is dogging Bush every step of the way for his stupid remarks or honest speaking mistakes while saying that our pointing out the same things is pathetic. What, it’s okay for you to call a Republican an idiot but it’s not okay for us to call your hero the same?

    Please, Robert, tell me why it’s pathetic that Obama hasn’t been able to pronounce the word “corpsman” since he was elected. Please.

  9. Well, if you can demonstrate that he’s an idiot, go for it. You might have some trouble with that one.

    What’s pathetic is latching onto a perceived gaffe in a desperate attempt to make this president look as stupid as the last one. Every fucking thing the cons have done since Obama’s been in office has been seemingly to avenge whatever wrongs they think have been unfairly committed against the last guy, who was a genuine dipshit. It’s childish, and you’ve most certainly participated, telling us on the night of the election that you were going to treat Obama with the same amount of disrespect that Bush was treated with. You might want to let him at least earn your disrespect first.

    I’ve got news for you, Bush deserved every ounce of disrespect he received. So perhaps if the current president starts torturing people or wages illegal wars based on lies, or places a wiretap on your communications without a court order, then we can be even in terms of things to bitch about. Cleaning up the mess the last asshole left behind (which every single economic indicator tells us is indeed what is happening) is not a reason to get up in arms. Neither is trying to stem the tide of people being financially wiped out by a single illness. And don’t even get me started on deficit reduction. Your party, the party of fiscal responsibility, is so bent on obstructing any progress that they voted against a bipartisan commission to find ways to reduce the deficit (along with voting against PAYGO and every other deficit reducing measure that’s entered the Senate (by the way, the people’s business simply cannot get done in the Senate. Evan Bayh is even retiring because he can’t be an effective Senator. A twenty point favorite to win reelection is retiring because your party is filled with obstructionist assholes who’d rather play politics with our futures to get reelected)). The president had to create the commission by executive order. Not only are conservatives intellectually dishonest, they’re outright stupid. How many fucking people have bothered to learn the definition of socialism before they start throwing it around? How many people realized that their taxes were being lowered at the very moment that they were protesting higher taxes? The Republican party has only managed to stay afloat because there are stupid and uninformed people in this country.

    Oh, and I do so love the pained explanation by Throbert to explain the mispronunciation of the word nuclear. If any defense is to be made when comparing the two, at least we can say Obama is pronouncing the word phonetically. Bush just up and decided to change the placement of letters. I believe that is a sign of dyslexia…

  10. “What’s pathetic is latching onto a perceived gaffe…”

    Perceived? My ass. It’s immortalized on film and he did it on two separate occasions. He was able to pronounce a Creole word he’d likely never heard before, but can’t pronounce one of the most revered titles among the military enlisted?

    “…a desperate attempt to make this president look as stupid as the last one.”

    There’s no desperation. At least Bush didn’t refer to “the Austrian language,” which doesn’t exist, or give a gag gift “reset” button with a Russian word that actually meant “overcharge.” If Bush had done those things we’d have never heard the end of it.

    “…the last guy, who was a genuine dipshit.”

    The last guy went to Harvard and Yale, the same schools that Obama went to. Aside from making the same verbal oopsies that many perfectly intelligent people have made, please explain why he’s the idiot.

    “You might want to let him at least earn your disrespect first.”

    He already did. During the campaign he posted ads joking about McCain’s inability to use a computer (his arms literally can’t take it) and tried to say that Palin had no executive experience when that was a patent lie, one you still believe.

    “…wages illegal wars based on lies…”

    Really? You’re still harping on that? If that’s the case, how come the Democrat-led Congress hasn’t held hearings that have found in favor of that conspiracy theory?

    “…places a wiretap on your communications without a court order…”

    Oh, horseshit. There are 300 million people in the United States. Do you really think that the federal government has the manpower and ability to wiretap all of our cell phones just for shits and giggles? The wiretaps are supposed to track terrorist chatter, period. And there are still limitations to what can be done–they have to be able to prove at some point that there was justification for an emergency wiretap. Several FBI agents are currently under investigation for using the new rules under false pretenses, and rightly so. And you tell me I’m paranoid.

    “Your party, the party of fiscal responsibility, is so bent on obstructing any progress…”

    PLEASE. You’re telling me it’s okay for the Democrats to do that when they’re in the minority but it’s not okay when Republicans have the ability? Democrats feel strongly about their issues, as do Republicans. Unfortunately we disagree about what should be done. This borrow-and-spend policy is what we’re obstructing.

    “Evan Bayh is even retiring because he can’t be an effective Senator.”

    HA!!! That’s hilarious, I was unaware he was ever an effective Senator!

    “How many people realized that their taxes were being lowered at the very moment that they were protesting higher taxes?”

    Lowered? Really? Raising taxes on the rich is okay? How about the supposed tax credit that couples are having to pay back because Obama and the Dems were too stupid to plan for it? Get this, Obama is allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, so our taxes will go up through the back door. Tell me what he did with taxes again…?

    “The Republican party has only managed to stay afloat because there are stupid and uninformed people in this country.”

    And you libs aren’t arrogant at all, are you? Nope. You’re really just looking out for the little people. Good for you.

    “Bush just up and decided to change the placement of letters.”

    I’ll have to find the YouTube video, but a member of Obama’s cabinet did the exact same thing on CNN (some guy who looks like he could pass for Keith Olbermann’s older brother). A lot of people do it, and it irritates me. I can’t even pronounce it the way they do. Most of those folks are Southerners. Yes, it makes one sound ignorant, but then again I’ve heard Northerners who can’t pronounce plenty of words.

    It is far more annoying that the C in C doesn’t know how to pronounce “corpsman.” That’s not something you hear every day.

  11. “Evan Bayh is even retiring because he can’t be an effective Senator.”

    Robert

    HA!!! That’s hilarious, I was unaware he was ever an effective Senator!

    Mel

    I agree Mel. Other than looking good, what has he ever done in the Senate?

    Perhaps he was worried the people of Indiana were going to vote his ass out?

  12. “Aside from making the same verbal oopsies that many perfectly intelligent people have made, please explain why he’s the idiot.”

    Well, first, there’s the complete absence of intellectual curiosity, noted several years ago by a Princeton political scientist, who had this to say:

    “As his lackluster academic record indicates, he lacks intellectual curiosity and is impatient with the play of ideas.”

    All available evidence suggests this was true. Whether it was failing to recognize the mere possibility of sectarian violence following the invasion of Iraq, understanding the capability of the federal government to respond to a natural disaster of unexpected size, or the strength of the pillars propping up the nation’s financial infrastructure. He didn’t really seem to have to propensity to grasp the simple prospect of balance and options, cause and effect. That alone garners idiot status in my book, but add to it a jovial and carefree manner even in the midst of terrible circumstances and a seeming inability to comprehend English language unless broken down monosyllabically, and you’ve got yourself a grade A moron. Sorry, but that’s the most likely scenario. And it might not be something that was in his control at all. I don’t say this to be mean or funny, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he was born with FAS. Several signs are there: hyperactivity, trouble with the law, alcohol and drug problems, indistinct philtrum, thin upper lip, poor judgment, inability to read facial cues, etc.

    “During the campaign he posted ads joking about McCain’s inability to use a computer (his arms literally can’t take it)”

    That had nothing to do with his arms and you know it. It had to do with his age. You can have a legitimate beef with that if you choose, but don’t accuse anyone of mocking his war injuries. But while we’re on the subject of campaign ads, I can only conclude that you had no problem with McCain running ads about how Obama wanted to teach sex ed to kindergartners, when in reality it was to teach them how to avoid sexual predators.

    “…and tried to say that Palin had no executive experience when that was a patent lie, one you still believe.”

    When did I ever say she had no executive experience? When did Obama say it, for that matter?

    “Really? You’re still harping on that? If that’s the case, how come the Democrat-led Congress hasn’t held hearings that have found in favor of that conspiracy theory?”

    Ha, silly me, thinking that the complete and utter lack of any evidence to back up claims of WMD would suffice as proof that all his fear mongering imagery of mushroom clouds were lies. Huge conspiracy. My bad.

    “Oh, horseshit. There are 300 million people in the United States. Do you really think that the federal government has the manpower and ability to wiretap all of our cell phones just for shits and giggles? ”

    It wouldn’t matter if it was only one. And yeah, I think they had the manpower to break the law once.

    “The wiretaps are supposed to track terrorist chatter, period. ”

    Really?:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5987804&page=1

    Why don’t you go ahead and tell us, oh patriotic conservative, for a SECOND time, that our military is full of terrorists.

    “And there are still limitations to what can be done–they have to be able to prove at some point that there was justification for an emergency wiretap.”

    And miraculously, that was never done. In spite of the fact that FISA grants a 72 hour grace period on which to start a wiretap and obtain a warrant retroactively. FISA courts had only denied five warrants in its 30 year existence prior to his antics, but Bush bet on the fact that his requests would be denied. Why, if it was justified? There is absolutely no excuse for circumventing the law here. None.

    “Several FBI agents are currently under investigation for using the new rules under false pretenses, and rightly so. And you tell me I’m paranoid.”

    What new rules are these? If what you’re saying is true, you would be anything but paranoid, as this is exactly what Bush did that you are claiming was okay.

    “You’re telling me it’s okay for the Democrats to do that when they’re in the minority but it’s not okay when Republicans have the ability? ”

    No, it’s not okay, regardless of which party is in the minority. But more to the point, Democrats have never done this. When have you ever seen such a concerted effort at slowing down the business of the people for political gain by Democrats? When? Dems controlled the congress in Bush’s first half term, and they never did this. These Republicans are so bent on doing just that, that they’ve been reduced to obstructing legislation that they’ve been in favor of in the past, and even voting against bills they’ve sponsored! How you don’t see this for what it is baffles me.

    “This borrow-and-spend policy is what we’re obstructing.”

    What a beautiful example of what I was just talking about. All during the Bush years, your party rubber stamped everything that little troll wanted, regardless of whether or not it was paid for. Two wars at a trillion dollars each? Sure! $1.8 trillion in tax cuts? No problem! Another trillion to give tax dollars to private insurers? You got it! Borrow and spend is all you people ever do! And I can’t help but notice the change in rhetoric. We used to be tax and spend liberals (i.e. paid for), which made you the inverse (borrow and spend i.e. not paid for). I will hand it to you cons, you folks are smashingly good at projecting your, oh, let’s be nice and call them idiosyncrasies, onto others.

    “HA!!! That’s hilarious, I was unaware he was ever an effective Senator!”

    You won’t find a lot of disagreement from me there. I figured you’d have the opposite view, though. He’s incredibly corporate friendly…

    “Raising taxes on the rich is okay? ”

    Yes. That’s not what’s happening, but yes. Letting tax cuts sunset is not raising taxes. Who was the genius that authored an expiration date into that? Rolling back the Reagan tax cuts, that would be raising taxes on the rich, and I’m totally okay with that. You would be too if you knew what was good for you. When taxes on the rich go up, it creates opportunities for every level of society. The economic environment we’ve found ourselves in for the last thirty years (with a small break during the Clinton years (in respect to taxes)) has turned out to be a poison pill. This kind of environment isn’t hospitable to anyone, including the rich. Every time we have had a large tax cut in this country, it has been followed by a bubble and a crash. Every single time for the last 150 years. On the other side of that coin, every time we’ve had a significant tax increase, it’s been followed by solid growth for a long period of time, and no bubble or crash. You continue to make clear your preference for a bubble economy.

    “How about the supposed tax credit that couples are having to pay back because Obama and the Dems were too stupid to plan for it? ”

    You’re going to have to prove that, because I’ve not found one shred of evidence to suggest that’s true. Assertions don’t really fly around here, and no offense, but particularly not from you people. Repeating what Steve says does not a fact make. Perhaps that’s why you used the word supposed…

    “Get this, Obama is allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, so our taxes will go up through the back door.”

    They will? Apparently, you’re in the top 1% of income earners. Congratulations, I suppose. Now as doctors love to tell us, you won’t feel a thing…

    “And you libs aren’t arrogant at all, are you? Nope. You’re really just looking out for the little people. Good for you.”

    Thank you. Hey, we can’t all advocate for the defenseless and wealthy…

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