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Mr. President
Posted: 16 August 2007 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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he is clearly a decent and moral man

I would strongly urge against making such remarks on this site.  It is only with supreme self-restraint that I refrain from lashing out at it, and there may be others who will feel compelled to pick up the gauntlet.  There are plenty of political discussion sites on the internet, and it would be nice if we could keep this one focused on words and phrases.

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Posted: 16 August 2007 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Phew, and I thought I was just contrasting him to Nixon lol!

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Posted: 16 August 2007 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Could Cheney be described as an eminence grise, albeit a high-profile one?

Yes, in the current sense of the word fits Cheney. Originally, it referred to someone more low profile, the original éminence grise was François Leclerc du Tremblay, a.k.a. Père Joseph, Cardinal Richelieu’s confidential agent, but it has dropped that requirement over the years.

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Posted: 16 August 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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On the subject of PMs and Premiers, it’s regarded in some circles as a solecism to refer to the British PM as a Premier. The style guide of The Times of London says:

Premier do not use in text as a synonym of Prime Minister, though very occasionally its use in the headline of a foreign story (never British) may be permitted. Generally, confine the word to heads of government of the Canadian provinces or Australian states, when it should take a cap. Premiership is preferable to prime-ministership

My favourite political title is the one borne by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Tanaiste, which is an Irish word originally meaning the heir apparent to the chief ...

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Posted: 18 August 2007 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Possibly relating to Mr. President being decided as the form of address at the time of the Constitution, have all presidents always included the injunction “God Bless America” in all their speeches or just some of their speeches? Would it be noticed if they didn’t? Do people campaigning for the presidency use it or is there some sort of unwritten understanding about its usage?
There is certainly no equivalent of this in the UK where religion figures hardly at all in government. How about in other countries?

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Posted: 18 August 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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venomousbede - 18 August 2007 09:38 AM

There is certainly no equivalent of this in the UK where religion figures hardly at all in government.

No one plays “God Save the Queen” or “Jerusalem” any more? (^_^)

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Posted: 18 August 2007 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The last paragraph of Washington’s first inaugural address solicit’s God’s blessing on the new nation, albeit much more wordily than the now-usual version:

Having thus imported to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign parent of the human race, in humble supplication that since he has been pleased to favour the American people, with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparellelled unanimity on a form of Government, for the security of their Union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

OTOH, his extremely short 2nd inaugural address made no mention of God, and I don’t think there’s anything similar in his farewell address.

Adams’ inaugural, and both of Jefferson’s, ended with elaborate invocations of God’s blessing on the country.  There’s a web page devoted to presidential inaugural speeches at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/inaug/inaug.htm
which you could use to research the question.  Oddly, they don’t have Dubya’s second, but every inaugural address since Reagan has ended with either “God bless you” or “God bless America” or some close variant.

[ Edited: 18 August 2007 12:15 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 19 August 2007 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The earliest use of “God bless America” in the New York Times is from 5 April 1885 in a farewell speech by actor Henry Irving, who was leaving the US to return to England.

As for presidential usage, I did a bit of searching of the NYT database and I think it was Nixon that started the practice of ending speeches with the phrase. I can’t for certain say that Nixon was indeed the very first to do it, but his speeches of earlier presidents don’t regularly turn up when searching for the phrase. (There a lots of false hits, most often references to crowds singing “God Bless America” in articles about presidential speeches--so I may have missed some usages by earlier presidents.)

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Posted: 20 August 2007 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Interesting how Washington in Dr. T’s quote uses ‘he’ and not “He”.
There is an implicit ‘May’ in ‘God bless America’ perhaps? and God Save the Queen. It would be inappropriate to use the imperative mood when addressing God.
An Irish comedian (Dave Allen) on BBC in the ‘70s would sign off his shows with “Goodnight and may your God go with you” which is PC before its time in a way though it omits the Hindu pantheon (Gods).

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Posted: 20 August 2007 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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venomousbede - 20 August 2007 07:47 AM

Interesting how Washington in Dr. T’s quote uses ‘he’ and not “He”.

Image of Signed Copy
Unfortunately, there’s a fold in the paper on that line so it’s not entirely clear, but it looks like George did capitalize it.  There definately other words capitalized in the document that aren’t capitalized on the site above.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Yes, when discussing capitalization, punctuation, spelling, etc. you really have to look at the original document, or at least a high-quality image of the original. These factors are frequently altered by transcribers. (Even the OED alters punctuation in its citations to match its style.)

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