Archive for Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Letter: Plausible deniability at play

August 26, 2008

To the editor:

I was reading the minutes of the city council meeting of Aug. 11, especially the council discussions about the Monticello madness scandal. I noticed that Mayor Jeff Meyers had once again, as he had in the previous council meeting, used the term ": from the get-go," to describe the timing of some extant condition now approaching a possible decision in the courts. What did he mean? What is "the get-go?" I reviewed it rapidly in the lexicon of my mind and all I could come up with was something from Esperanto or possibly Ebonics. So why did he use this term? Probably for something more recent, "plausible deniability," taught to us in the era of Watergate and the Vietnam War. If it really was from the beginning of everything, maybe he wanted to say, ab origine, but didn't know how to pronounce it.

But then I read further. A half-hour later, the city attorney, Marvin Rainey, rose to speak. He wished to admonish and caution some members of the Council, without mentioning names, about, well, about how Loose Lips Sink Ships.

He said he " : thinks they should stay careful of what statements they make in public or what statements can be given by most of them, as given by Senior Project Engineer (Paul) Lindstrom, (naming a name) may be matters on which there are no yes or no, but anything that is said may, given the history of this case, likely have attempts to use it in court with litigation against the city in some form or whether accurate, out of context or twisted." And more.

He must have given this considerable thought before he chose to speak, because he delivered the whole thing without an intake of air.

I wondered if he meant to include the mayor in his warning. Plausible Deniability! Yes! That must be it.

I felt cautioned as well. Better check the facts. I looked up "from the get-go" in Wiktionary, the online dictionary. There was their online example, for all to see: "I watched him from the get-go, because I did not trust him." There it was, right on the nose.

Carol Lee Murphy

Shawnee

Comments

dwolff 12 years, 3 months ago

"What did he mean? What is "the get-go?" I reviewed it rapidly in the lexicon of my mind and all I could come up with was something from Esperanto or possibly Ebonics."

Definitely not Esperanto. In Esperanto that would have been "de la ekkomenco" (from the very beginning).

You're welcome --

David (more info at www.esperanto-usa.org)

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