Monday, October 11, 2004


Will Saletan says that in the second debate, Bush misspoke when he said that the military should be "more facile." A New York Times writer also characterized this statement as a mistake.

If you can't tell, I find it quite odd when people make such obvious screw-ups while purporting to correct a politician's "errors." True, one meaning of "facile" is "lacking depth." But "facile" has two other meanings that work quite well: One is "performing adroitly," while another is "eloquent" or "fluent," which works as a metaphor. These meanings also show up in the related noun "facility," in the sense of "adeptness," "readiness," "quickness," or "deftness." (I.e.: "The military performed with great facility.") In short, this wasn't a misstatement at all.


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