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    The Man Who Mumbled Wolf

    This site dedicates itself to the tools that create unforgettable lines. But today’s quote does exactly the opposite: bureaucratic mumbling at its very best. 

    We need to be able to manage them as a state to balance them with other wildlife and landowner impacts pertinent to livestock. 

    Ron Aasheim, a spokesman for the Montana
    Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in the New York Times

    Congress took the unprecedented step of removing an animal from the endangered species list. A rider in the budget bill will give western states the power to manage the Rocky Mountain wolf without judicial review. Now, if you’re an elk hunter or a western rancher, the last spokesperson you want is a Sarah Palin, who’ll shoot a colorful trope from the hip.

    Palinesque Synecdoche: There’s a wolf out there that’s about to be skin on my wall.

     No, in this situation, you want colorless. Even better, come up with a statement that’s a little hard to follow, a technique the ancients called skotison—Greek for “darken it.” That’s what the Montana flack does with his “landowner impacts” and his “pertinent.” The fulcrum of his sentence? The reassuring word “balance.”

    Almost makes you feel guilty for liking wildlife.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    So, are you saying clarity-free phrasing is actually a good rhetorical skill? If so, lawyers and accountants ought to be at the top of the skotison-skill list.
    April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterContent
    Yes, and yes, Content.
    April 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterFigaro

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