Verb Tenses Matter a Lot

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Verb Tenses Matter a Lot

I didn't watch President Bush deliver his remarks at Kansas State University last month so I don't know whether the transcript of his speech on is accurate or not. But something tells me that Bush either did not say or did not mean to say what the website attributes to him.

The transcript of Bush's Jan. 23 speech at KSU has him saying:
"Look, we want the Iraqis to be prepared to take the fight to the enemy .... the political process is beginning to marginalize the remaining elements of those who are trying to stop the progress. One of those elements is Saddamists. These are the thugs that kind of control the country."
Did Bush really say "control"? I can't believe that his top advisers would want Bush to publicly state that insurgent forces "kind of control the country." Perhaps Bush meant to say "controlled."

It wouldn't be accurate to say that Saddamists (ex-Baath Party members) still "control the country." Of course, it wouldn't be accurate to say that any army or group controls Iraq. These days, Iraq remains a ship without a rudder.

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