Maybe I’ll tease out all the etymological threads later (I’m weird like that) but for now, let’s consider Joe Biden’s latest non-brain-tumour-related ooopsie:
“After a lengthy critique of Bush administration education policies, Biden attempted to explain why some schools perform better than others — for instance, in Iowa, as compared to Washington D.C. ‘There’s less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with,’ said Biden.
“‘When you have children coming from dysfunctional homes, when you have children coming from homes where there’s no books, where the mother from the time they’re born doesn’t talk to them — as opposed to the mother in Iowa who’s sitting out there and talks to them, the kid starts out with a 300 word larger vocabulary at age three. Half this education gap exists before the kid steps foot in the classroom,’ Biden said.”
Forget Neil Kinnock (and who hasn’t) — I think Biden’s plagiarising Steve Sailer here.
Naturally, Biden’s people rushed to “clarify” the senator’s comments, effectively castrating him.
I guess both kinds of “gaffs” are more alike than you’d think.