Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bill Maher and Body Parts

By Meg Curtis, PhD in English

Since Bill Maher’s vocabulary specializes in four letter words, here’s one to fit his fix:  JERK.  He also applied a three letter word to a portion of Ann Romney’s body which she slung into a saddle while struggling with MS and cancer.  And here’s another four letter word which identifies the body part of Bill Maher which he needs to remove from his oversize mouth right under his oversize nose:  FOOT.

Once he does that, maybe he can explain exactly how he graduated from Cornell University.  First, may we assume that Freshman English professors at that august institution still teach levels of diction?  As in, when he is addressing the next First Lady of the United States, it is unseemly, Bill, to refer to parts of the anatomy which he has never encountered, since she is too polite to put her foot you-know-where.

Second, he really should stop referring to the former governor of Alaska with despicable terms, too.  He does know what “despicable” means, doesn’t he—even if it contains TEN letters?  OMG!  This rant—another four letter word!—is turning into a vocabulary lesson for poor Bill, who could benefit from extending his diction to five letters, as in TWERP.  Who is he to attack Palin when Bill hasn’t even been elected governor of late night TV?

Well, maybe he has to do something to make viewers forget he probably struggled with Geography, as well as Freshman English, at good ole CU.  A four letter word vocabulary doesn’t allow a student to learn much about Alaska, which, for Bill’s benefit, this writer must note is larger than Texas, and filled to its gills with oil and gas reserves.  Now, who would trust Bill Maher to oversee such resources, when he can’t even get his diction together for a little chit-chat about housewives?

Furthermore, another lesson he avoided in Freshman English was good ole rhetorical fallacies.  These occur in chapter two of a standard reader in that class.  One of the most famous happens to be excessive generalizations, as in what does Bill know about housewives anyway?  He lumps them all together because he’s never been around a single one of them when they cleaned the toilets, where he left his diction. 

Obviously, he did master the Red Herring, as in, this is what a student talks about when he’s failing the class, first, because he didn’t do his homework on Alaska, and, second, because he never understood that this is an error—he’s not supposed to model rhetorical mistakes for the guys in his fraternity who expect to find every word he says funny.  Bill, the words that any self-respecting writer cannot spell out on this website are NOT funny.  Bill needs to take notes so he won’t forget.

Third, and most critical, Bill, the ad hominem attack is out of line, as in the student fails Freshman English every single time he uses this device.  It means that the speaker doesn’t know the issues from a hole in the ground, so he attacks his opponent instead—by calling her names.  The names he needs to remember are these:  Ann Romney, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann.  These women possess outstanding vocabularies because they passed English while some Bill or another was playing puppet for some king of his sleazy fraternity.  

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