In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
A Language Lesson for Congress

I was lousy at languages when I was in school, but Latin was required in public schools even in the hinterlands when I was young. And I had to take 5 years of Latin to get through Latin 3 so that I could get into college. In addition, I also took French and Spanish, but the one that taught even a lousy linguist the most about English was Latin. It is the basis of most of the English language and probably is why I grind my teeth any time I hear someone in government address an attorney general.

Most, if not all, politicians address an attorney general as “general.” This is on a par with “nucular,” Bush’s pronunciation, which he continues to use even now. I don’t know if any of the politicians know about “general,” and even the attorneys general probably don’t know.

At any rate, in some foreign languages the noun comes first and the modifying adjective comes after, as it does here. In this case, “attorney” is the noun and “general” is the adjective, referring to his status as the top legal representative of a nation or state. Properly, he should be addressed as Mr. Attorney General. “Attorneys general,” or “attorney generals” are both plural phrases.

Aren’t you glad you know this now?! My language teashers would all be so proud of me as a language teacher, but unfortunately they’e all dead.


an average patriot said...

Hi little Bill!
Hope you are well! Latin, can you imagine today? Most like the chief idiot can't even speak English. Like that fool they take pride in it. I find it very insulting. The guy is a living shame!

Petrosexual said...

Very picky you are. Mind if I diagram some of your sentences?

Vigilante said...

I totally agree with you Lil'Bill! Thanks for bringing this up. I have long winced whenever I've heard an A.G. addressed as 'General'. Just as I have when I have heard the President of the United States (POTUS) referred to as our Commander-in-Chief (CIC). Unless I am in uniform, he's not my CIC. But then, I have never considered him my president, in any event.