Quote: "What we do today protects jobs, protects the incomes of our people, strengthens America’s economy and protects our future." Rep. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, in the AP.
Figure of Speech: diazeugma (die-ah-ZOOG-ma), the play-by-play figure.
The House of Representatives is about to vote to extend tax cuts to wealthy investors. Cost to the U.S. Treasury: $70 billion. Nancy Johnson portrays it reassuringly in a diazeugma ("multiple yoking"), a figure that marries one subject to many verbs. Sportscasters use it a lot. So do gadget salesmen. And so does a politician who wants to foist a pricey budgetary flim-flam on the American people.
Snappy Answer: "By ‘our people,’ do you mean your people?"