News announcer heard on TV this morning, regarding a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination:
"Gen. Wesley Clark has capitulated to the top of the pack."
A malaprop, with a mixed metaphor thrown in.
Malaprops by politicians and political commentators ... this theme may grow like topsy over the coming year.
What word had he meant to use?
In looking up the etymology of capitulate I find that it comes from the Latin word capitulum, meaning "to draw up in chapters." How does that translate to its current meaning of "to surrender"?
He probably meant "catapulted" though, to be precise, that wouldn't have been exactly correct either. "To catapult," while definitely suggesting a rapid ascent, also implies not being completely in control.
Which reminds me of possibly my favorite Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon:
The setting - a catapult set up on top of a medieval castle manned by several armored soldiers, including one outranking the others, during a battle in progress. The catapult has just been sprung and, some 50 yards away in the air and headed towards the enemy, is another armored soldier. The ranking armored soldier is chastising his crew: "See? I told you guys something like this would happen if you didn't stop horsin' around!"
As the Safety NCO for several shops I was in during my illustrious Air Force career, I would always use this cartoon in one way or another.
Also, a question: Do you guys on the other side of the Atlantic get "The Late Show" with David Letterman?
He has come up with a segment, run almost nightly, which skewers our beloved president (pardon the sarcasm) for his lack of wattage upstairs. What is funniest is that each segment consists on nothing more than Bush himself speaking. One of my favorites shows George Dubya commending someone on increased communication saying "Your left hand now knows what your right hand is doing." It's a cliche, yes, but made into entertainment fodder by the fact that when he says "your left hand," he gestures with his right hand, and vice versa.
If this guy is even half as dumb as he looks and sounds, the free world is in some truly deep kimchi.
He is. We are.
Thank you electoral college.....
.....and Supreme Court Justices.