Frager Factor

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dum-Fuk: Bush Takes Speaking Skills to UN

When our illustrious and verbally gaffe-prone president addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, the White House inadvertently showed us exactly how they try to get George Bush to be able to pronounce the "hard words" -- with a phonetic pronunciation guide on the teleprompter to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders. The White House was left scrambling to explain after a marked-up draft of Bush's speech popped up briefly on the U.N. Web site as he delivered his remarks, giving a rare glimpse of the special guidance he gets for major addresses. It included phonetic spellings for French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sar-KO-zee), a friend, and Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH-bee), a target of U.S. human rights criticism. Pronunciations were also provided for Kyrgyzstan (KEYR-geez-stan), Mauritania (moor-EH-tain-ee-a) and the Zimbabwe capital Harare (hah-RAR-ray). (VIA Reuters)

Bush is no stranger to the occasional faux pas, and often jokes about his habit of mangling the English language.

One of his highest-profile gaffes came in May when, at a welcoming ceremony for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, he nearly placed her in the 18th century.

At a speech during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney earlier this month, Bush seemed to confuse the organization with OPEC and spoke of Austrian troops in Iraq when he meant to say Australian.

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