Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Anne McLemon

Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan’s English has seen such a marked improvement in the last six months that experts are now calling her “fluent.” Indeed, such is the extent of her mastery of the language in its demotic form that grammarians are attributing to her the development of a new idiom, tentatively named: Vacillatish, characterized by its pronounced indecisives, prevaricatives, and subjectives.

Ms. McLellan gave demonstration of the newly invented patois at, oddly, an international disaster management conference yesterday. She said: “I do not believe that Canadians are as psychologically prepared for a terrorist attack as I think probably we all should be. I think we have, for too long, thought that these are things that happened somewhere else.” And: “You don’t want to scare Canadians, because fear can paralyze; fear can lead you to freeze.” And (to applause, and repeated calls of “Bravo!”): “We need to start talking about the fact that we all need to be prepared for all possibilities.”

When asked to provide a translation Ms. McLellan faltered, suggesting that were standard English able to supply the deficiencies endemic to windy nonsense there would have been no need for the extent of man power and tax dollars employed in the development of the new idiom in the first place. When asked if this answer was meant to be another demonstration of Vacillatish, the Minister winked and asked the gathering what they thought of the new Fantastic Four film.