For a lesson in how to wield the English language, check out George Will’s column in the Washington Post. You needn’t agree that “Trump is no longer the worst person in government” to enjoy — or choke on — Will’s use of $10 words. I plowed through the first paragraph, thinking maybe it was just a humorous or sarcastic come-on for the rest of the story. But no, the entire piece was written with thesaurus in hand. (I wonder if he talks that way, too.)
I don’t read Will’s column very often, but in this case the title intrigued me. Plunging in, I encountered words and phrases like “feral cunning,” “oleaginous,” “toadyism,” “obsequiousness,” and “lickspittle.” And that was just the first paragraph. I got so wrapped up in and distracted by the verbiage that I couldn’t really tell you what was said, other than that the subject was Vice President Mike Pence. Particularly distracting was the phrase “oozing unctuousness from every pore.” Intentionally or otherwise, it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite lines from My Fair Lady — “Oozing charm from every pore / He oiled his way around the floor.” That’s Pence, for sure.
Ultimately I dashed off a brief comment: “Pence is the best reason we have for not impeaching Trump.” (Will had used up all the good words.)
I take pride in the fact that not once did I need a dictionary while reading a column by the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. But I am wondering now if that prize was given for insightfulness or just overwriting.