12 July 2007

Bush, Blair, Brown, barbarism and barbarity

Google the words “Bush barbarism” and you get 612,000 hits. For “Blair barbarism” you get 271,000; “Gordon Brown barbarism” gets you 117,000. Bertie Aherne gets a mere 805, behind Winnie the Pooh at a whopping 956! Reading a selection of entries it would seems that most writers are using the word barbarism incorrectly. As disinterested is different to uninterested, barbarism is different to barbarity.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines barbarism as:

1. Uncivilised nature or condition; uncultured ignorance or absence of culture...

2. The use of words and idioms not in accordance with the normal standard language; absence of cultivation of language...

This is of course unfortunate for the many writers who think the word describes a baby-eating tendency among our leaders of Bush, Blair and Brown. On the other hand Bush has been responsible for plenty of barbarisms – every time he says nucular for example (nucular barbarism??) I have no idea what Winnie the Pooh did to get linked to the word . Hunny is simply bad spelling. Perhaps people will stop misusing fascist and genocide too


Garth said...

The Winnie the Pooh entries are more than likely connected to his 'before they was famous' link to Winnie Mandela.
Pooh is alleged to be the brains behind the Stompie Moeketsi killing and the great honey heist of 1988.

Anonymous said...

So Bertie Aherne is officially less barbaric than Winnie the Pooh... there's something for him to put in his CV.

For years I was puzzled whenever I heard Bush talking about 'terrism' and 'terrists'. Now I know he was just losing his syllables.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I only use barbarism in the most proper of context....... The Smiths 'Barbarism Begins At Home.'

jams o donnell said...

AH now that explains it Pisces. I think he fell into a bad lot when he met eeyore and piglet. An evil pair if I ever saw one

Hmm Bush may not be a man to mince words, but perhaps to mangle them Roger!

Glad to hear it Ewbl!