Word just out fromWashington,D.C.: The federal government is rolling out a new official language. From now on it promises to speak plain English.
Plain English? What a concept!
According to regulations signed into law by President Obama, no more pompous gibberish is to be forthcoming from our nation’s capital. Obama signed the Plain Writing Act after decades of pleas by passionate grammarians determined to jettison the ridiculous jargon that has overwhelmed the American people.
Of course, since it will take lawmakers some time to learn this new way of writing and talking, the law won’t actually take effect until October. And even then, it only applies to documents intended for us regular people to read. Washington-folk can go right on legally writing nonsensically among themselves.
Of course, even when required to replace its “pursuant to regulations promulgated” thereuntos and “heretofors evidenced to the extent practicable,” Washington-speak may leave us scratching our heads. Consider Newt Gingrich’s defense of statements blasting Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal, which he called“right-wing social engineering.”
Even as Newt apologized to Ryan, he blamed the “liberal media” for taking his remarks out of context, and, with an amazingly straight face, insisted it was dishonest to quote anything he said:
“I want to make sure every House Republican is protected from some kind of dishonest Democratic ad. So let me say on the record, any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood. Because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate and I’m prepared to stand up… When I make a mistake — and I’m going to on occasion — I want to share with the American people ‘that was a mistake’ because that way we can have an honest conversation.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”