Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Snollygosters and Presidents


Right, I'm back. And here, for your delectation, is a TedX talk that I did in June which has just popped up on the Interweb.

6 comments:

  1. Brilliant! "Bold as Brass" – I wish I'd known this last week, when I was teaching metal idioms to my students.

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  2. Ooh, excellent talk and, on a side note, you're cute!

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  3. Clancy Sigal's 1961 novel/memoir "Going Away" suggests an answer to JFK's "Profiles in Courage" under the name "Profiles in Snollygostering." It may be hard to believe after decades of post-assassination reverence, but I can confirm from experience that JFK was not much admired on the Left.

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  4. I bought and enjoyed The Etymologicon, and I enjoy the Inky Fool. However, regarding your TED lecture, I found a major chronological problem. You talk about the debate between the House of Representatives and the Senate over what George Washington should be called, and how the two bodies eventually decided upon "President." The title "President" is in the US Constitution, which was drafted before either the House or the Senate existed. There was a Constitutional Convention in 1787 which created the two houses, which began operation in 1789 when Washington became President. Before that, under the Articles of Confederation, there was a unicameral body in the area that would become the United States. It is possible that there were element in the country who held the different views that you delineated, but these people were not Congressmen and Senators.

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  5. Quite right. I gave a wrong date, when I should have said 1789. It's the perils of speaking without notes.

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