Saturday, September 02, 2006

Phrases: "Dignify A Response"

In this Guardian story about a British TV drama that shows President Bush being assassinated (bet Rarb can't wait to download that), a White House spokeswoman, Emily Lawrimore, is quoted as saying:
"We are not going to comment, because it does not dignify a response."

The same quote shows up in other reports.

You don't "dignify a response". You dignify another person or what they said with a response. Or you could say, "That doesn't deserve a response".

I hope Emily is being misquoted, but I doubt it. Google shows lots of others making the same mistake.

In this USA Today story about Doonesbury (has this strip ever been funny? is it even meant to be?), a different White House spokesperson, Dana Perino, uses the same phrase.

Here's a Harvard pro-choice student saying it.

A Nova Scotian politician ("the member for Halifax Needham") said it too.

There were a lot of reasons to ridicule Scott McClellan, but at least he knew how to say "dignify that with a response".

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