Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Little Knowledge Might Be a Dangerous Thing

But it often seems that a little bit more- or at least thinking a bit about the small amount you do already have- could go along way toward making the situation much safer. For example, from Not Always Right:
Customer: “Where are the pregnancy test kits?”

Me: “Over there, by the condoms.”

Customer: “If I knew where the condoms were, I wouldn’t need the pregnancy test!”
Or how about this, from The Daily What:
Somewhat Apropos Of The Previous Post of the Day: Palmetto State Armory’s limited edition AR-15 lower receiver engraved with Rep. Joe Wilson infamous anti-Obama outburst “you lie” is an awesome, timely idea that couldn’t possibly backfire.
The editor notes that either the offer has been removed, or given the limited edition, has already sold out. And the "Previous Post" referenced? Why, Sarah Palin's "blood libel" comment, of course. (Here's the NYT report.) Okay, I'll admit it: I had to go look this one up myself. Turns out, I was aware of the myth, folklore... hey, "libel" is actually a pretty good word for it. But I guess I wasn't aware that that particular phrase was so firmly linked to those particular nasty rumors. The Wikipedia article is not for the faint-hearted or weak stomached. Not for the descriptions of acts, which, awful as they are, are fictional, but for the fact that a human being would accuse other human beings of doing such things.

This novel reaction on Palin's part has prompted a number of (deservedly) snarky comments. For example, @tbogg: "Sarah Palin proved today that it is possible to shoot yourself in the foot even when the foot is already in your mouth." @MickeySqueeks: "actually I don't think Palin said "Blood Libel" anyway. she said "Bible" but belched loudly in the middle of the word. try it." @BadAstronomer: "I thought it was a wind rising outside, but it was actually the sigh of Dan Quayle as Sarah Palin passed him on the way down. " @SarrahPalinU5A: "Sorry for using the phrase "blood libel". I was shooting from the hip. I tell ya, I need all this drama like a hole in the head."

A clue, Sarah: as I've said many times, Wikipedia isn't the most authoritative source, but it's not a bad place to start at all.

Followup: Somewhat more serious and sober commentary on Palin's faux pas here.

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