Hey there, Georgy Boy

I agree with Mark Liberman and Bill Poser: I don't understand the success of Bushisms as a cottage industry, given the mundane nature of seeking out slips of the tongue—many of which any of us could make—compared to the fascinating and important task of calling out truly nefarious deeds. In fact, in putting together Untidy, I made a point of dismissing a similar criticism of Rumsfeld early on in the collection (using Geoff Pullum's perfectly stated "No foot in mouth").

But that was until I discovered the George W Bush Singers. Part Seekers, Young Caucasians, or Lawrence Welk Singers, these guys bring it all home, I think, with a post-modern twist to a pretty tired gag: what they do works just as well as a parody of a bygone era of popular music as it does as a knock on Bush's challenged syntax. Their forte is juxtaposing layered harmonies with amazingly bizarre lyrics, all composed by George W Bush himself. It's the most surreal call-and-response you'll see. Here is their hit "4000 Hours":

Now, what would happen if you worked in the opposite direction, taking something formally structured like academic study and placing it in an free-wheeling atmosphere such as a blog? Perhaps you would end up with something also pretty hilarious, such as Far from the Madding Gerund.

I have, by the way, certainly logged in at least 4000 hours between working on that book and otherwise reading Language Log. I think the country is better for it, so I'll go ahead and count that as the "service to my country" GWB was referring to.

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