Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Corrupting the language

It is a while since we’ve had a look at corruption language. I was reminded by a story doing the press rounds, headlined: Ney, Ensnared in Scandal, Avers Innocence. To be fair, Nay was not quoted Averring. Doubtless the word came from the keyboard of an overenthusiastic journalist.
So does ‘to aver innocence’ make Ney’s position better or worse?

  1. To assert formally as a fact.

  2. To justify or prove.

Ney reportedly spoke to fellow Republicans because "he thought it was important, especially in light of the recent news, for members (of the House) to hear directly from him instead of reading about it in the newspapers."
He told fellow Republican lawmakers Wednesday he is innocent of wrongdoing and determined to seek a new term this fall, according to GOP sources.
Oh! Innocent, that is not quite the same as aver. In fact the anonymous source reporting on this closed door meeting did not use the word aver, at least not in the report. So I guess we can safely wait for an investigation finding now.

The Skinny on the Ney drama:
Bob Ney is the Republican congressman from Ohio's 18th District.
Neil Volz is the man who spent seven years on Mr. Ney's staff as press secretary and later chief of staff, admitted his role in conspiring to corrupt his boss with gratuities in return for official acts performed.
Jack Abramoff is the lobbyist who was brazen enough to get caught buying US lawmakers.
In court documents filed by federal prosecutors, Volz cites more than a dozen actions his old boss took on behalf of Abramoff clients in exchange for a "stream of things of value" supplied to the congressman.

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