October 28, 2004

The base

An unpleasant chill down the spine as I read the editors' piece "The Choice" in The New Yorker (November 1 edition, p. 37) this morning. It mentions that the Bush regime calls its staunch conservative Christian support community "the base". And they add in a parenthesis: "(in English, not Arabic)".

Translating "the base" into Arabic gives us, of course, al qa'eda. I think I might have been happier if they hadn't pointed out that parallelism.

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at October 28, 2004 12:25 PM