Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wishful Thinking

If there were such an office as that of the President Elect, the person at the left is the only one I would accept right now in the position. But there's something screwy here, and it's a language thing. Office can refer to a physical location, space, room, building, or it can refer to a position. When we say a President "takes office" we do not mean that she/he literally takes over the Oval Office (although he does, ultimately). We mean she/he performs the prescribed duties and submits to protocol in order to assume a position. They are different, related meanings of the same word: polysemes.

So here's the catch: there is no official position called Office of the President Elect. In a way, it's an oxymoron. We elect in order for the candidate to assume office in a very formal way. There is no formality to becoming President Elect. There is a sequence of events, however. First the people vote, then the Electoral College votes, then Congress certifies. But even at the end of that last act (which has not happened yet, incidentally) nobody gets sworn in as President Elect.

That leaves me to wonder what this logo means. It cannot refer to a conferred office, so it must refer to a physical location. If the sign were hanging on a door, I would not be writing at the moment. But this event did not take place in an office. So I have to wonder what these people are thinking. There is no "Office of the President Elect" as an office in this country. Obama keeps saying that there's only one president at a time. Right. So why has he invented another presidential office?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hillary Clinton Honored at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Madame Secretary

She makes us look good, doesn't she?