Written by Ilona Ronay
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Topics: Dick Cheney, English

Saturday, 12 June 2004

Vice-President Dick Cheney and former Vice-President Dan Quayle have been named as co-editors of the Oxford English Dictionary effective immediately.

"My first task is going to be making sense of the English language," Dan Qualyle said. "If the word 'toe' has an 'e' at the end, then by golly, all words that end in 'o' are going to have an 'e' at the end, too--tornadoe, tomatoe, dildoe, you name it. I'm looking forward to making these changes!"

Quayle estimated that this kind of labor-intensive copyediting would keep him occupied until 2017, since he is also planning to work under the typical copyeditor conditions of low pay, low lighting, mandatory overtime, un-ergonomic chairs, no government-sponsored health coverage, slow computers and the inability to request more than one red pencil or one rubber band at a time. "I'll have to watch my legs, too," he mused, "and make sure I take those two 15-minute breaks each day. It seems like copyeditors are more prone to leg clots than frequent flyers!"

"Dan's more of a copyeditor," agreed Vice-President Cheney. "I see myself as being more of a content and developmental editor. For example, the correct definition for 'art' is 'whatever my wife, Lynn, thinks it is.'

'National Endowment for the Arts' and 'stem-cell research' are both terms that will be stricken from the dictionary. And, 'compassionate conservatism' is not an oxymoron. 'Gay marriage' is an oxymoron. 'Compassionate conservatism' is a truism. I want that phrase to assume the same kind of status and solidity in the English language as peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, and ducks and hunting.

I'm going to be bold and creative and visionary in my attempts to transform this glorious language of ours into something my family and friends at Halliburton can live with. Hey, how does 'monetarily challenged' work for you as a substitute for 'poor'? And do you think 'food-insecure is a good substitute for 'starving'?"

The two new editors can be reached c/o The Editing Department, Oxford English Dictionary.

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