Politics

Published on March 26th, 2007 | by The Beige Baron

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Roget and Me

I love words. A carefully chosen noun, adjective or verb loaded into a sentence and shot like a poison dart at a deserving subject can do almost as much damage as the real thing. Words can surprise, delight, shock, entertain and are there for all of us to savour. Words have histories and stories, textures and weights.

I make no claims at all to any special skill using them, in fact I find my inarticulate clumsiness with English a constant frustration. But my own hamfistedness makes my enjoyment of the master wordsmith’s wit far greater, and drives me to try to sharpen my own.

Today I was driven to such depths of boredom while hurtling through the black subway tunnel in a stinking aluminum tube that I dug out my thesaurus and started flicking through it at random. When I tired of that, I tried to look up ‘fuck’ and ‘vagina’ to see how risque Mr Roget would allow himself to get. Then I was struck with a pleasing idea: search for words to describe our Prime Minister, John Howard. I actually laughed out loud a few times. I forgot where most of them were now, but I had another look tonight and here’s a brief list for your consideration. Feel free to add your own. Maybe we can print it out and mail it to him. Doubt he’s find it amusing, though.

Howard’s relationship with George Bush

Flattery (n): adulation, fawning, servility, toadyism, sycophancy, bootlicker, lickspittle, toadeater, soft-soap, puff, tuft-hunter, flunky, slobber, slaver, truckle, candied, honeyed, ingratiating, servile, assentory, obsequious, hanger-on, ward-heeler, taffy

Howard’s public personality

Pride (n): Stoop, deign, patronize, swagger, arrogance, presumption, self-praise, insolence, self important, pompous, pretentious, toplofty, high-handed, supercilious, assumptive, puffed up, cavalier, concieted, bridle, prance, coxcomb, imperious, bumptious, cocky,

Howard’s policies on the boat people, GST, Iraq, WorkChoices, ministerial responsibility etc etc etc…

Falseness (n) Illegitimacy, inaccuracy, unauthenticity, untruth, fraudulence, falsification, misrepresentation, diguise, fakery, fabrication, phony, bastard, sham, shoddy, crum, fiction, apocrypha, diguise, gloss, colored, dressed up, bogus, erroneous, unfathered, untrue, adulterate, spurious, fallacious, specious, delusive, unsound, sophistical, casuistic, deception, misteaching, pretence, mistake, exaggeration, cunning, dishonesty, obliquity, treachery, dupery, guile, humbuggery, subtlety, illusion, guile, pettifoggery, knavery, imposture, bluff, facade, camouflage, artifice, cheat, chicane, bluff, bilk, flimflam, device, ruse, swindle, wile, trap, mare’s nest, boggler, fraud, misleader, picaro, serpent, sneak, snake, shammer, slicker, Janus-face, imposter, snide, blackleg, bunko artist, cardshark, rook, cheat, befool, gull, hoax, con, mulct, shortchanger, welsh, slippery, sly, disingenuous, foxy, Machiavellian, shifty, insidious, hypocritical, cynical, vulpine and wily.

… particularly his decision to support Iraq…

Stupidity (n): unintelligence, feeble-minded, high-grade moron, idiot, cretin, mentally-defective, beetle-head, addlebrain, dumbbell, dummy, blockhead, boob, dolt, dumbwit, featherbrain, gaby, half-wit, jackass, nitwit, noddy, featherbrain, goose, lunkhead, beefwitted, boneheaded, thickskull, thickwit, mindless, clodpated, loutish, duncish, wooden, asinine, brutish, thoughtless, sap, dottard, zombie, chump, lunatic, puppy, senseless, impolitic, imprudent, foolish, injudicious, irrational, shortsighted, useless, ridiculous, absurd, inexpedient, vain and inadvisable.

His appearance as a statesman

Short (adj) brief, little, pug, retrousse, turned-up, stubby, pudgy, squatty, stumpy, diminutive, abridged, condensed, dwarfish, scanty and inadequate

…and in relation to the eyebrows…

Hair (n): Bristle, quill, tuft, daglock, hackles, mane, tress, thatch, shag, upsweep

…and overall…

Unpleasant: Disagreeable, repellent, unsavory, objectionable, cheerless, uncomfortable, nasty, shocking, ugly, revolting, odious, painful.


About the Author

Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.



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