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American language - "to opine"



Paul Simon, the pride of the State Department, opines: ""Opine" amd "interlocutor" are considered the two most overused works in State Department reporting cables. At least the authors tend to use opine correctly. An interlocutor is a middle man in a minstrel show line, according to my dictionary.

Typical Bad Foreign Service Prose:

"Over a dinner of horseshanks in beet gravy, our interlocutor, Krizibun Goo, the recently-retired (Note: forced out of office. End note.) Ickystan Minister of Oppression, opined to the Political Counselor that his beloved homeland would not have democracy for another 1.67 millennia."

As a good Foreign Service Author would write it:

"Ickystan will not have democracy for more than another 1.6 millennia, asserted recently deposed Minister of Opression Krizibun Goo."

RH: Dictionarywise, Paul travels second class. His definition of "interlocutor" is the second given by Webster. The first (and normal) meaning is "person taking part in a conversation". ^Perhaps Paul has lived in the Far East for so long that he reads pages from the bottom to the top.

Ronald Hilton - 12/4/02


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