When I say “Bush” I Still Don’t Mean George

Nearing the 100-day mark in the Obama presidency, the man’s popularity continues to surge.

Sam Fulwood III’s recent post on Politico.com points up this trend. He says “Barack Hussein Obama is the nation’s first hip president.”

As one example, he says Obama is so hip that even referencing him is hip:

School kids in Albany, N.Y., coined a term for it: “Baracking.” And it doesn’t stop there. Those in the know at Albany High greet each other by saying: “What’s up, my Obama?” and they respond to a sneeze with “Barack you.” Misbehavior is peer-corrected with the admonition, “Barack’s in the White House,” which translates, “Show some respect.”

Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, said it was “just really stunning” that kids were co-opting the president’s name as a term of endearment and identification.

“This is the most emblematic, positive thing that kids could say,” she said. “It’s connecting them to him, saying that there’s something special in the connection between them.”

I know H.L. Mencken would have written a long entry about this in his History of the English Language, had he only lived to see it.

But while we’re on the topic, I’d just like to clarify one thing:

If I meet a hot butch woman in a white t-shirt and faded jeans skimming over an ass that looks like it could snap a #2 pencil, and I think to myself, “Hello, My Bush!” – I’m not thinking of George.


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