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    And the World Did Breathe a Meaningful Sigh

    bushworld.jpgQuote:  "And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences … and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world."  President Bush at yesterday’s White House Press Conference.

    Figure of Speech: conduplicatio (con-du-pli-CAT-io), repetition of one word in succeeding clauses.

    What, asked Helen Thomas, former Press Corps dean and aging thorn in Bush’s side, was the "real reason" he took us into war?

    The same president who had told the world to get the hell out of his way answered with a biblical-sounding figure.  His conduplicatio ("doubling with") repeated "world" for emphasis, like a church bell sounding a full peal of values.  This tactical repetition is the secret behind the Bushism — the fractured rhetoric that language snobs scorn but that helps Bush cling to his base.

    He used this conduplicatio masterfully, turning a planet into a divine right.

    Snappy Answer:  "Failure to disclose.  Now, that’s a reason for regime change."

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Do you think that the use of "world" qualifies as synecdoche as well?
    March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJMack
    It is indeed, and I was remiss not to mention it, JMack. Thanks for the catch. It's also a bit of circumlocution, while we're at it--"world" being a stand-in for "U.N.," which is not one of Bush's favorite institutions.

    March 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFig

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