Sunday, March 18, 2007

1984 Grammar

The Bush Administration's common "Mistakes were made" is said to be in the past exonerative tense.

Heard on NPR, then googled

"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.”"