Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, responding to FEMA's staged news conference about the California wildfires:
I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I've seen since I've been in government. I have made unambiguously clear, in Anglo-Saxon prose, that it is not to ever happen again and there will be appropriate disciplinary action taken against those people who exhibited what I regard as extraordinarily poor judgment.
Why resort to Anglo-Saxon prose? Scratch that. It should read "Why resort to Anglo-Saxon prose again?" Remember the press conference last week in which Chertoff announced Bush was coming to
tour liberate California from the wrath of Grendel the wildfires:
Her syndon geferede, feorran cumene
ofer geofenes begang Geata leode;
þone yldestan oretmecgas
Geornwig nemnað ... Hine halig God
for arstafum us onsende,
to West-Denum, þæs ic wen hæbbe.
wið wælfyre gryre.[*]
Chertoff's more recent performance was slightly less impressive. According to the OED, his "unambiguously clear, Anglo-Saxon prose" may be unambiguous and clear, but Anglo-Saxon it ain't:
I think it was one of the dumbest and most
inappropriate[Latinate] things I've seen since I've been in government[French]. I have made unambiguously[Latinate] clear[French], in Anglo-Saxon prose [French], that it is not to ever happen[Middle English] again and there will be appropriate[Latinate] disciplinary[French] action[French] taken against[Middle English] those people[Anglo-Norman] who exhibited[Latinate] what I regard[French] as extraordinarily[Latinate] poor[Anglo-Norman] judgment[French].
That's too struck-through with Continental corruption to taste the Director's thick Anglo-Saxon ire. Here's his withering statement again, only now rendered pure:
I think it was one of the dumbest and most things I've seen since I've been in. I have, in Anglo-Saxon, that it is not to ever again, and there will be taken those who what I as.
I'm sure his drihtguman got the message loud and (unambiguously) clear.
[*]Hither have fared to thee far-come men
o'er the paths of ocean, people of Geatland;
and the stateliest there by his sturdy band
is George named ... Blessed God
out of his mercy this man hath sent
to Danes of the West, as I ween indeed,
against horror of raging fires.