Monday, June 09, 2008

Hezbollah style

I'm usually the one rolling my eyes at people who are afraid to see the language change. This fear often shows itself in the form of attempts to suppress those meanings, phrases and structures that have been around for a while but that haven't yet broken into a mainstream standard.

So how come I'm now on the verge of complaining about a phrase that might be too recent to get full credit as an attested form?

On May 27 2007 Cal Thomas wrote a column criticizing Barack Obama for his diplomatic naivete. A commenter on that column spun out of control and called Michelle's fist-bump a "'Hezbollah' style fist-jabbing." The comment is now removed but the line is quoted by few other commenters.

I've never heard such a description of a fist bump. I've been looking around for it and every instance is a reference to Thomas' column, his commenter, and FOX face E.D. Hill who described the fist bump as a "terrorist fist jab" in a tease to a vapid bit about body language.

The tease:

A fist bump; a pound; a terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.

This is too much faith in an occurrence for the nonce. It's almost as if FOX is all too happy to pounce on this baffling description because of some partisan interest or something. But I'll leave that discussion to other forums.

And for the record -- Hill and body language "expert" Janine Driver really don't show any interesting body communication (they show a clip of the gesture) and they don't get close to telling us what it really says.

But who expected them to?

(h/t Jon)


  1. A terrorist would never employ the fist pound; it would be completely inappropriate.

  2. Beautiful. See not only is it too new -- it's gauche.


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