Friday, November 18, 2005

Bafflement and Annoyance

Something that confounds me to no end is how anybody with a means of expressing their view refers to the former dictator of Iraq as "Saddam." I feel the need to share this, since I appear to be the only who doesn't like it.

How are we on a first name basis with this monster, anyway? Is this something that I just haven't seen in AP Stylebook? My copy is a little old, but this has been going on since the first Iraq war, when my uncle was deployed to the Middle East with the Marines and I realized that world events do indeed affect people. But I digress.

At the very least, I think it's remarkably unprofessional of a journalist or a politician to say. I've always said, "Saddam Hussein" or "Hussein" myself. It's not as though I think he deserves any respect, It just seems odd and wrong. Like referring to the president of Russia as "Vladmir" or the prime minister of England as "Tony." Does it make a difference that they are our allies? We don't call Kim Jong Il or Muammar al-Qaddafi or Fidel Castro by their first names.

This doesn't bug me as much as the bandying about of the term "progressive", since those who claim to be in the particular school of thought have no idea what they are talking about; they just want to have a name that makes it sound like they actually stand for something. I think the worst part of the use of the former dictator of Iraq's first name in public discourse is that it humanizes him, other than than, we're talking about low-level annoyance like hangnails or canker sores.


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