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8830Bush Makes the Dictionary

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  • n1n31nchn3rd
    Sep 9, 2004
      Bush Makes the Dictionary

      Sep 9, 8:57 am ET

      By Paul Majendie
      LONDON (Reuters) - George W. Bush is mocked for strangling grammar. But he
      can hold his head up high in the new Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
      published on Thursday.

      The U.S. President makes a respectable first appearance in one of the
      world's most famous reference books with his notorious "Axis of Evil" speech
      about Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Bush, long renowned for his malapropisms,
      has in the past offered such gems as misunderestimate, embetter and

      But Oxford dictionary editor Elizabeth Knowles works on very different
      criteria for new entrants in the revered tome.

      "You look at the quotation, not at their linguistic dexterity," she told

      British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's closest ally in the war on Iraq,
      is given prominence for waxing lyrical in appropriately Shakespearean tones
      in the lead-up to the conflict: "This is not the time to falter."
      Intriguingly the latest edition of the famous sayings book first published
      in 1941 highlights how history has a way of repeating itself when it comes
      to the memorable soundbite.

      Bill Clinton, watching the saga of the Florida chaos unfolding in the 2000
      U.S. Presidential election, said: "The American people have spoken -- but
      it's going to take a little time to determine what they said."

      That echoed the complaint by British Conservative statesman Lord Salisbury
      in 1877: "One of the nuisances of the ballot is that when the oracle has
      spoken, you never know what it means."

      "We are constantly trying to pick up material that has become newly
      resonant," Knowles said, citing a John Quincy Adams quote that struck a
      chord after the September 11 attacks on the United States:

      "Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be
      unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she
      (America) goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy."

      On a lighter note, draconian British quiz mistress Anne Robinson wins quote
      immortality for the way she curtly dismisses failed candidates in her show:
      "You are the weakest link ... Goodbye."