don rumfeld's colloquial language

Eric Schmitt erschm at NYTIMES.COM
Wed May 8 15:28:43 UTC 2002


i am a reporter for the new york times covering the pentagon and defense
secretary don rumsfeld.  i've been assigned a story on don rumsfeld's use
of language, specifically his colorful, colloquial descriptions of
everything from the u.s. detention center at guantanamo bay, cuba ("the
least worst place" to put al qaeda and taliban prisonsers, to his likening
the search for osama bin laden to chasing a chicken around a barnyard; plus
all of his "gee, golly's" and "oh, goodnesses").

anyone have any thoughts or observations about these and other "rummy'isms"
or "rummy-speak," how it has influenced the way the public perceives him
and the fight on terror, and what it says about a public official who loves
to talk like this?

my deadline is 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, May 9.

eric schmitt

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