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    It Slices, It Dices, It Makes Budget Hash

    samoslicer3.jpgQuote:  "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 Speechdiazeugma (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?"

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