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    Line? What Line?

    monica_goodling.jpgQuote:  “I believe I crossed the line, but I didn’t mean to.”  Monica Goodling, former Justice Department liaison to the White House.

    Figure of Speech:  dicaeologia (di-kay-o-LO-gia), the figure of excuse.  From the Greek, meaning “defensive argument.”

    “Did you break the law?” a representative asked Goodling, who was granted immunity for her congressional testimony on the firing of U.S. Attorneys.  Her answer is a pretty good example of the dicaeologia, the short and sweet excuse.

    This figure of thought usually comes into play when the facts of the case and the definition of the terms are going against you.  Yes, I did it.  Yes, it’s a crime.  But I had to!  Or, in Goodling’s case, “I didn’t mean to!”

    This excuse rarely works when a child uses it on a parent.  But then, parents rarely grant immunity.

    Snappy Answer:  “Does that explain Iraq, too?”

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    Reader Comments (6)

    In case anyone cares: I got the photo off a poster for a real movie called "Bad Girl," starring Julia Stiles. The slogan, "Evil Never Looked So Good," is from the poster. I just added the -ling.
    May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    So where did the face come from?
    May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
    From Goodling's own faceling. I just stuck her head onto Julia Stile's body. Think either one minds?
    May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    Did you by chance hear the afternoon news reader on NPR yesterday refer to the person you quoted as "Ms.
    Lewinsky, I mean Goodling." Yikes.
    May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKris
    An excellent form of APOPHASIS, the deny-it-then-say-it figure.
    May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFigaro
    A childish answer seems most appropriate, given the players. But where are the adults?
    May 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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