Quote: “The drug dealer is us.” John Walters, White House drug czar, quoted in Time.
Figure of Speech: antiptosis (an-tip-TOE-sis), the pronoun changer. From the Greek, meaning “case change.”
Teens continue to drop marijuana for prescription drugs, according to a federal report. It’s a matter of convenience: instead of a sketchy street corner manned by lawless entrepreneurs, your psychotropic teen can rely on the medicine cabinet, courtesy of Mom and Dad.
Figaro tips his figurative hat to the drug czar and his nice antiptosis, a figure of speech that switches a pronoun from the subjective case (I, we) to the objective (me, us) or vice versa. “We are the drug dealer” is more correct but less effective, as Tarzan must have known when he introduced his self to Jane. (Yes, we meant to do that.)
The czar borrows his particular antiptosis from the comic strip Pogo, which portrayed philosophical swamp creatures during the sixties and seventies. “We have met the enemy,” Pogo said famously, “and he is us.”
Snappy Answer: “Really? Got any Darvon?”