Tag Archives: chris matthews

Listen up, Chris Matthews: Palin knows more than you do!

In your show on the evening of Friday, June 3, 2011 you covered Sarah Palin’s visit to Boston. You skewered her when she said that Paul Revere rode his horse through the towns to warn the people that the British were coming, and you said that Palin knows nothing. You said that the warning was one if by land and two if by sea, and that everybody knows that.

That phrase was not a warning—it was merely a signal to Paul Revere, as immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem Paul Revere’s Ride. Click here for the poem and Wikipedia’s discussion. And Chris, for your enlightenment the first two verses of the poem are as follows:

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hand a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal light,
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

So there, Chris Matthews—that one if by land, and two if by sea was merely a signal to Paul Revere to jump on his horse and spread the alarm through every Middlesex village and farm, and here it needs to be pointed out that Palin used the term town as opposed to the term village, but in my unlearned opinion the two terms are interchangeable. In summary, Palin was right and you were wrong. And now to wrap this one up, although I do not enjoy repeating myself, I will repeat myself:

Nanny, nanny, boo-boo, Palin knows more than you do!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Postscript: I would be remiss if I failed to insert at least a smidgen of humor into this posting. Many years ago, far back in the mist-shrouded years of my boyhood in the past century, a popular corruption of Paul Revere’s Ride was told and retold by me and by my fellow elementary students:

Listen, my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
He jumped in his car and stepped on the gas,
And the floorboard flew up and busted his donkey.

In case you haven’t noticed, please note that the final word in the ditty above, namely the word donkey, obviously does not rhyme with gas—it is a harmless synonym used in an effort to remain in compliance with the language limitations favored by WordPress.


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Welyano—a dialectical diversion used by speakers . . .

Welyano—a dialectical diversion used by speakers

The word welyano, shown and defined above, will be further defined and discussed below. Its definition, the discourse on that definition and its application in our society—is from the latest version of Dean Dyer’s Dictionary Discourses of Different Dialectical Diversions, a publication known by the acronym DDDDDDD. The acronym may be voiced by enunciating the letters separately in sequence, all seven of them, or by drawing out the first D thusly—Deeeeee. I prefer the drawn-out version.

Welyano is a manufactured word that consists of three common words—well, you and know, usually voiced as one word with three syllables. It is used to give the person questioned time to formulate an answer to the question. It serves as a defense mechanism and is used by people that have been asked to voice their opinion on something—on anything—on any subject ranging from AAA, Alcoholics Anonymous to zyzzyva, a tropical weevil of the genus zyzzyva. By immediately responding without hesitation to a question with a single word, Welyano, the user of the word erects a temporary barrier between themselves and the questioner and also between the questioner and any other person present. When a question is asked, the one being questioned immediately says, Welyano then pauses, indicating that the answer is about to be given, and only the rudest of the rude would breach that barrier and repeat the question, and with that repetition interrupt the train of thought being followed by the one being questioned, nor would a third person be impolite enough to intrude into the thoughts of the person being questioned.

The only person I know that would be that rude, in fact the only one I know that is that rude—and I know a lot of people, not intimately but casually, primarily from exposure to their drivel on cable television—is Chris Matthews. One may confirm that by exposing one’s self to his rudeness by gaining a guest spot on his nightly show, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Our current Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, is the most prominent practitioner of the welyano system—she is the definitive user of welyano, whether speaking in the US or abroad, whether in an English-speaking venue or high in the Himalayas—high up, that is. She consistently, almost invariably, begins her response with Welyano, then pauses, appears to be collecting her thoughts, then gives an answer to the question—the accuracy of her answers is not the subject of this treatise.

Welyano is a crutch, used by people whose linguistic ability is crippled by their inability to effectively respond quickly in conversations, particularly in interview situations. They even use the term when the conversation is scripted, when the questions are known to the subject being questioned and the answer that will be given is known to the questioner, a well established and routine procedure for interviews conducted by our nation’s mainstream media with guests whose agendas correspond with those of the venue in which the interview is conducted.

I predict that the term welyano will become part of our English lexicon. In fact, it’s already part of it—it just hasn’t been given the recognition it richly deserves. I cannot truthfully claim that I invented the pronunciation of the term, but I can truthfully claim that I created its spelling, the collection of letters that precedes answers to questions by even the most talented, the most garrulous and the most articulate speaker. The use of welyano is virtually universal, and probably appears in all other languages—spelled differently and pronounced differently, but used for the same  purpose—it’s a ruse to gain time to formulate an answer to a question.

I modestly offer the term to mankind, an offer made with no inclination to ask for monetary compensation or a Pulitzer Prize for this essay, nor will I demand consideration for the Nobel prize for linguistic enrichment of our language.

I’ll settle for the presidential presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal, and continue to bask in the reflected light and warmth of that presentation by our president—yeah, right!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized


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