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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The White House Says "Wonky"

Every week I get an email newsletter from the White House, the "Weekly Womens' Update". It must have several different writers as the style varies from item to item. It focuses on things women deal with in particular- work, health issues, opportunities and discrimination, family, education, like that.

This week there was a bit about the Pres talking to, well here:

"President Obama traveled to Scranton, PA yesterday to talk about an issue that impacts millions of women and families across the country – the extension of the payroll tax cut. It sounds like another wonky issue, but this one has the potential to hit all of our pocketbooks. If Congress doesn’t vote to extend the current payroll tax cut, taxes will go up for millions of Americans. For a typical family earning $50,000 a year, that means a $1,000 tax increase."
Good to know, but "wonky"?

Wonky is defined by the Urban Dictionary as:
  "weird, whacked out, messed up, not working for no definable reason. Usually applied to technology."

I wouldn't call this issue"wonky", even if it fit the definition, which it doesn't. Another assault on working people, an opportunity for this people-hating lying spoiled and corrupt amoral gang of puppets for the rich to make their masters happy, yes. Wonky, no. I could write better copy and speeches.

Is this some kind of marketing to the young and presumed ignorant? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines wonky as

British : unsteady, shaky
chiefly British : awry, wrong
probably alteration of English dialect wankle, from Middle English wankel, from Old English wancol; akin to Old High German wank┼Źn to totter — more at wench
First Known Use: 1918
If used in the chiefly British sense, it fits.
So my conclusion is that this bit was written by either
A) A centegenarian Brit
B) A 40-something nerd who's not quite a PR genius and doesn't know what wonky means in the USA in 2011
My money's on B. 


Austan said...

And obviously, this posting went wonky.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the White House is "wonky".

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Maybe you SHOULD write the "better copy and speeches" ...