Monday, June 09, 2008

Presumptions, Presumptions

Yes, it's wrong to call either Barack Obama or John McCain a nominee until the conventions decree them so. They've clinched, claimed and even secured their parties' nominations, but they haven't received or accepted those nominations. So go ahead and insert "presumptive" before "nominee," but don't feel the need to repeat "Presumptive nominee! Presumptive nominee! Presumptive nominee!" like a parrot forced to watch MSNBC. It's especially silly to write about how Sen. Barack Obama is planning his strategy for the November general election against Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama is just as "presumptive" as McCain is, the currency of his headlines notwithstanding, and that hedge after the mention of McCain isn't much of a hedge at all -- it's basically saying that Obama is going to face McCain in November whether McCain gets the nomination or not. But a truly prudent sentence would be truly comical, so how about we just let hypotheticals be hypotheticals and talk about the November matchup between McCain and Obama? I'd rather be presumptuous than type "presumptive" a few dozen more times.


Roli said...

The term "presumptive nominee" – as opposed to other, more matter-of-fact options, such as "likely," "expected," or even "presumed" nominee" – has a somewhat princely ring to it, as in "heir presumptive," don't you think?

Tahoe Editor said...

Word 'Presumptive' Prepares For Another 4-Year Hibernation