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Language Log » Adverbial placement in the oath flub

Language Log » Adverbial placement in the oath flub

Chief Justice John Roberts' administration of the presidential oath to Barack Obama was far from smooth. Early reports differ in saying who stumbled: NBC and ABC say the flub was Roberts', while the AP says it was Obama's. I think both men were a bit nervous, and the error that emerged from their momentary disfluency came down to a problem of adverbial placement. . .

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Comments

To "faithfully execute" seems quite different that to "execute faithfully". The first would mean to devote oneself fully to the execution of the duties (the original words and intent), while the second would seem to mean executing the duties using one's faith (presumably religious) as a guide. Is Roberts a fundie?

As a (snicker) strict constitutionalist, I think (snicker) Obama should say the magic words once again in a private over-the-phone conversation with Roberts (or whomever) just so the freaks will shut up about it. We don't need frivolous conspiracy-type claims of unconstitutionality hanging around (see: Income taxes, the Fed, fiat money, etc.) when it's so easily addressed.

Just do it and make everyone feel better, save some $ in lawsuits, etc.

We are far too obsessed with symbols in this country. Does the oath even actually mean anything? Bush said it, and shredded the constitution. So they stumbled a bit. Does that make it, "Not count?" What are we? 4th graders? OMG what if he crossed his fingers too! That would make it not count. People need to let this go, NOW. It doesn't mean anything.

Doesn't matter now. he said them again. People with severe OCD and constitutional literalists can relax now.

W

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