prior = "before"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue May 8 00:26:28 UTC 2007

In case you missed Rep. John Shimkus's remarks to the House on May 2, here they are as a horrible ex. of  the failed Homeric metaphor, which should be of interest to all students of composition and rhetoric. But note especially the innovative use of _prior_ to mean "before (then)":

[]:"Imagine my beloved St. Louis Cardinals are playing the much despised Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals are up by five, finishing the top of the ninth. Is this a cause for celebration? Is this a cause for victory? No. Unbelievable as it may seem, the Cubbies score five runs in the bottom of the ninth to throw the games into extra innings.
  "There the score remains until 1:00 a.m. five innings later. However, at the top of the 15th, the Cardinals fail to field a batter. The entire team has left the stadium. It seems that they are more worried about next day’s 1:00 p.m. game at home than finishing the game at hand.
 Who wins? We know it’s the team that stays on the field. Arbitrary deadlines and a date certain accept defeat before the conclusion of the contest. It is our national security interest that continue to take the field and support a moderate Arab state. Leaving prior assures a loss for us and victory for our opponents which will lead to another extremist Islamic state."
Thanks to The Daily Show for the tip !


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