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Technically speaking

imageAs I said in my mini book review of Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything by Frank J. Fleming at Amazon.com (the following is the whole review):

Even being on the skewering end of this parody of support for Barack Obama, I found it pretty funny. I loved where it described Sarah Palin as "a crazed Amazon from the north whose heart was filled with moose-murder."

The only caveat is that it is hard to call something this short a "book." It’s more like the length of an article in The Scientific American magazine and you can be done with it in 30 minutes.

One of the zinger quotations from the book that does to Obama supporters what Stephen Colbert does to Conservatives:

All we do know for certain is that he was born in the U.S. and was never at any point technically a Muslim.

Fleming, Frank J. (2011-11-15). Obama (Kindle Location 52). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

In its dictionary sense, “technically” implies the precision of science, but in common usage it implies something that is true only in a narrow literal sense. Here’s a self-referential example of a sentence illustrating this:

While “technically” the word means “described in a scientific way”, in general usage it is used to disparage what follows, suggesting that in a more practical sense it’s not true.

The word is also used by 12-year-olds in an attempt to try to sound smart.

I came across another example of the term today in an old WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi. Corsi wrote

Technically, the [Congressional Research Service] is a public policy research arm of the United States Congress that is organized as a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress; the CRS works exclusively for members of Congress, congressional committees and congressional staff in an advisory capacity, answering questions.

Corsi doesn’t give any other explanation for what the CRS is, so we are left to decide whether Corsi is trying to disparage the CRS without saying so, or whether he is trying to sound smart.

7 Responses to Technically speaking

  1. avatar
    donna September 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    as they say (wiki) about confirmation bias: They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.

  2. avatar
    Rickey September 24, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Technically, Jerome Corsi has never been diagnosed as a pathological liar.

  3. avatar
    James M September 24, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I’ve met almost fully apostasic Muslims who were more observant than Obama.
    President Obama, if he is Muslim, is the least observant Muslim I have ever heard of. He does not perform Salat. He does not attend any mosque. Despite attaining great success in life he did not undertake the Hajj. He keeps a dog as a pet. He eats pork. I have even seen evidence of him eating pork during Ramadan.

  4. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 24, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Rickey:
    Technically, Jerome Corsi has never been diagnosed as a pathological liar.

    That’s because no one has bothered to strap him to a couch, and let a shrink pick his brain for a while.

  5. avatar
    Northland10 September 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Among the more puritan Muslims, having your kitchen brew a Honey Brown Ale is probably not on the list of approved activities.

    James M:
    I’ve met almost fully apostasic Muslims who were more observant than Obama.
    President Obama, if he is Muslim, is the least observant Muslim I have ever heard of.He does not perform Salat.He does not attend any mosque.Despite attaining great success in life he did not undertake the Hajj.He keeps a dog as a pet.He eats pork.I have even seen evidence of him eating pork during Ramadan.

  6. avatar
    Keith September 25, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    Northland10:
    Among the more puritan Muslims, having your kitchen brew a Honey Brown Ale is probably not on the list of approved activities.

    I’ve got a good friend, a hobby brewer on the case of the White House Honey Brown Ale for me.

    Trouble is he’s currently deep in the Cooper’s Brewery 150th Anniversary “Thomas Cooper’s Selection Celebration Ale” cycle and he might just be repeating that for a few months.

    I can’t seem shake him loose, and I can understand why, the brewery’s bottled version is absolutely beautiful, and they’ve sent out a select few kits for their home brewers buyers club.

    I’m really looking forward to his home brew version of the Coopers Celebration Ale, but I’m really trying to twist his arm to do a batch of WHHBA. He usually doesn’t like to bother mixing his own recipes, preferring the excellent quality kits that Coopers produces, but I think I’ve just about got him convinced.

    The alternative, of course, is for me to start brewing my self, but I just don’t drink that much that it would be worth it to me.

  7. avatar
    Thomas Brown September 25, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Birther: “Obama’s a Muslim!”

    Tea Partisan: “Damn right! And what about that radical preacher Reverend Wright at his
    church?!!”