Where's West Africa?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 22 21:38:25 UTC 2011

Shortly after Bachmann made her comment during the recent political
debate the phrase "Libya is in Africa" became a trending topic on
Twitter. I do not know the precise length of the delay. No doubt some
people who were live-blogging the event mentioned the remark in
real-time (Jon can add this to his collection of "real time"
examples.) The resonance frequency of the news-plex echo-chambers
grows ever shorter.

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 4:26 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Where's West Africa?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> As you noted CNN implied, Bachmann appears not to recognize that Libya
> is in Africa. This might have gone unnoticed if it were only the first
> time she made this type of error. Best I can tell, the line has been
> flagged by every major liberal blog.
> I don't like Bachmann, but I actually don't think this is a major issue.
> Inclusion category errors are routinely made by most politicians,
> irrespectively of their erudition and intelligence. Only the perceived
> idiots get flagged because the errors confirm expectations. If Obama
> made the same error, it would go unnoticed (perhaps because his critics
> are ignorant?) or would be quickly dismissed for any of a number of
> reasons (he was tired, he misspoke, etc.). Major newspapers are guilty
> of far worse flubs--for years I held on to a clipping from a Boston
> Globe front page that contained a headline and a one-sentence graf:
> Jesse Jackson to Visit Cuba: Jesse Jackson has announce that he will
> visit China in [specified month]. I threw it out when it became
> impossible to maintain its structural integrity. To this day I don't
> know if he ever visited Cuba or China that year...
>     VS-)
> On 10/22/2011 4:04 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> At 10/22/2011 03:46 PM, Victor Steinbok quoted:
>>>> "Now with the president, he put us in Libya. He is now putting us in
>>>> Africa. We already were stretched too thin, and he put our special
>>>> operations forces in Africa."
>> Not having watched sufficiently, I don't see what Bachmann should be
>> raked over the coals for.  Libya is in Africa.  Or is the problem
>> that we didn't put "our special operations forces" in Libya but
>> operated from the air?  Or that other, earlier presidents did put
>> special operations forces into Africa (East Africa, that is)?
>> Joel
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