LINGUIST List 6.249

Sat 18 Feb 1995

Disc: Dick Armey's slip and correction

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  1. Dave Wharton, Dick Armey's slip and correction

Message 1: Dick Armey's slip and correction

Date: Tue, 14 Feb 1995 16:30:35 Dick Armey's slip and correction
From: Dave Wharton <>
Subject: Dick Armey's slip and correction

I was curious if anyone was actually interested in
verifying whether Armey's slip was actually a slip.
But since someone has asked what the time delay
between the utterance of "Barney Fag" and his correction:
having heard a replay, I would say the delay was less
than a second. IMO, the utterance was definitely a
slip and not a slur.

Other factors would support this conclusion, apart from
the delay, phonology, etc., primary among them the fact
that Armey isn't stupid. He's a Ph.D. in Economics, and
has the political savvy to get himself elected majority
whip. Only the politically (or linguistically) tendentious
would be likely to assert that someone of his political
skills would think it to his advantage to make such an

What a shame it was to see members of this list anxious
to use their professional skills (or to abuse them) in
order to make a political point. Two weeks into this discussion
and only now does anyone actually inquire into the data.
It makes one wonder how much linguistic research is driven
by other agendas, and what the quality of that research is...

Dave Wharton
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