Mighty Red Pen

December 22, 2007

What Romney saw

Filed under: Pop culture,Word wars — mighty red pen @ 1:32 pm

So presidential hopeful Mitt “The Hair” Romney has gotten himself in a little hot water over having said, “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

But Romney’s dad didn’t actually march with MLK. And now that he’s been called on it, apparently depends on what your definition of saw is (and together, too).

According to First Read, Romney defended his comment by saying,

Admitting that he didn’t see the march with his own eyes, he said, “I ‘saw’ him in the figurative sense.”

“The reference of seeing my father lead in civil rights,” he said, “and seeing my father march with Martin Luther King is in the sense of this figurative awareness of and recognition of his leadership.”

“I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can be,” he continued, smiling firmly. “If you look at the literature or look at the dictionary, the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of — in the sense I’ve described.”

As if this story weren’t exciting enough for word nerds, here’s Romney coming to his own defense (in a transcript from CBS):

He added, “You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the Patriots win the World Series,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl.”

So obviously, the lesson we can all learn here is that the next time someone asks you what you plan to do with your English lit major, you can say run for president of the United States.


Very thorough round-up about this on Language Log, see also Mr. Verb.



  1. The Mitt Romney “Joe Isuzu” fictitious commercial – http://thevaluesvoter.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!F3D4C1BC1D8B0D91!132.entry

    Comment by The Values Voter — December 22, 2007 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  2. Schadenfreude.

    Comment by cookiezim — December 22, 2007 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  3. Schadenfreude.

    Comment by cookiezim — December 22, 2007 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

  4. SWEET! And my friends and family think I’m limiting myself with my major! The best thing is, if the whole president thing doesn’t work out for me, I can still use my minor and the eventual master’s degree and be a librarian like I already planned.

    Comment by Alex — December 25, 2007 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  5. I’m not a Romney fan but… “With Gov. Romney a surprise arrival and marching in the front row, more than 500 Negroes and whites staged a peaceful antidiscrimination parade up Grosse Pointe’s Kercheval Avenue Saturday…” (“Romney Joins Protest March Of 500 In Grosse Pointe,” Detroit Free Press, 6/29/63)

    Comment by rpmason — December 27, 2007 @ 10:45 am | Reply

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