Monday, September 20, 2004
Despite her linguistic prowess and her worldliness, Heinz Kerry has, at times, a deaf ear for the nuances of slang, code, condescension, and vulgarity in English—for the emotion of the language. “There are these bizarre moments that make you shudder,” the Kerry adviser said. “Like calling herself African-American to black audiences.” She dismissed voters skeptical of her husband’s health-care proposals as “idiots,” and, in a television interview with a Pittsburgh anchorwoman, employed the word “scumbags” to describe some of her detractors. I doubt that she knows the literal meaning of “scumbag,” but perhaps, after forty years in America, nearly thirty of them as a political wife, observing how the flaws and contradictions of a personality as complex as hers are melted down for ammunition by the other side, she should have learned it.
Heh. Next thing you know, she'll be calling Dick Cheney a schmuck.
UPDATE (6:45 am Tuesday): It looks as though The New Yorker did THK wrong.
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