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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.