He first used the word when discussing what would happen if one were to enact the “voucher” program endorsed by the Republican challenger’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.). “Ironically, if you repeal Obamacare . . . those seniors right away are going to be paying $600 more in prescription care,” Obama said.
Our resident usage expert, Washington Post copy editor extraordinaire
, says that’s a decent use of the word. The president is arguing that a program intended to save seniors money (vouchers) would actually cost them (ding, ding!). “It’s not the delicious, perfect irony of a firehouse burning down or a guy dying in a car crash on the way to accept a safe-driving award,” Walsh tells us. “But it’s close enough for government work.”
Obama dropped a second i-bomb relatively successfully, too, when he underscored that Romney provided a template for the national health-care law that the former Massachusetts governor now criticizes. “The irony is that we’ve seen this model work really well in Massachusetts,” Obama pronounced.
The usage is a little weak here, Walsh says, but “simplify it a little and there is an irony of sorts in a guy fighting against his own good idea,” he says. Language columnist and consultant
agrees, noting that the second use was “a little closer to a coincidence than true irony.” Still, the former New York Times editor says, “it’s in range.”
And so perhaps we should award Obama the Alanis Morissette Award for Correct Use of the Word “Irony.”
Hey, it’s something.
Cat and mouse at Gitmo
No one ever said the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was a particularly welcoming place. But still . . .
The latest complaint is that there’s a rat problem plaguing the compound. The alleged infestation — along with the accompanying rat feces and some nasty mold — has prompted attorneys for
Khalid Sheik Mohammed
to seek a delay in pretrial hearings for the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Miami Herald reports.
Seems conditions in the offices designated for the detainees’ legal teams are less than pleasant. “Defense personnel have complained about the mold, rats, and rat feces for more than a year,” the lawyers said in a filing.
Loop Fans might recall that a while back there were reports of cats at Gitmo — specifically, that a detainee had said that another detainee had been given an adorable kitten as a sort of in-house perk, a reward for cooperation.
And cats are a deterrent to rats. So perhaps the answer at Gitmo is kittens for everyone?
By the book
We were hoping to order retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s new memoir, “My Share of the Task,” which was — and still is — due to be available on Amazon on Nov. 12.