Quote: “It’s just another ‘trust us, we’re the government.’” Kurt Opsahl, senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Figure of Speech: metallage (meh-TALL-uh-gee), the getting all medieval figure. From the Greek, meaning “making a swap.”
A privacy advocate responds with a first-rate metallage, a figure that takes a verb or adjective and uses it as the object of a sentence. You can hear it in the movie Pulp Fiction, when Ving Rhames threatens to “get all medieval on your ass.” Parents use it when they ask their children, “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand? And the president tossed one at the Democrats when he called them “the party of cut and run.” We’re talking heavy metallage music here.
Figaro especially likes Mr. Opsahl’s metallagizing, because it employs a commonplace that works for both the left and the right in this great libertarian country of ours.
We just hope the government doesn’t get all Putin on us for saying that.
Snappy Answer: “Can you repeat that? Our tape ran out.”