Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh, Great, Something Else to Worry About

In a piece about such phrases as "Mistakes were made," or, "We're sorry if you were offended," The New York Times says,

The nonconfessions inspired William Schneider, a political guru here, to note a few years ago that Washington had contributed a new tense to the language. “This usage,” he said, “should be referred to as the past exonerative.”

Or perhaps it was Bill Safire who originated it.

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