US President Donald Trump today moved to defuse the smouldering row over the ‘alternative facts’ presented by his media counsellor Kellyanne Conway, by appointing fictional Alice-Through-the-Looking-Glass character Humpty Dumpty to the newly created post of Secretary of State for Semantics.
Speaking to the assembled White House press corps following his appointment, Dumpty confirmed a radical shift in emphasis in English usage in the existing “semantic partnership” between the US and Europe.
“From now on when the president or any of his appointed officials uses a word, it means just what they choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” confirmed Dumpty.
Quizzed by New York Times semantics correspondent, Alice Liddel, as to whether the new administration could indeed make words mean so many different things, Dumpty replied in the affirmative.
“When I make a word do a lot of work like that, I always pay it extra,” he said.
“The question is which is to be master, that is all,” he said pointing out that control of the entire English language gave the administration the power to not only make America great again, but to effect positive change both in the lives of all Americans and those of people around the world, depending on how the administration chooses its definitions.
“We is wicked man, we is bad..” he said pointing out that you can do anything with adjectives.
“But not verbs, they’re the proudest of the lot,” Dumpty added explaining that, for that reason, the President would be accepting external counsel from,Defence Secretary James Mattis,and CIA director Mike,Pompeo on the use of,such controversial verbs as “torture” and “waterboard”
Asked whether such semantic acrobatics might not place undue pressure on a US media already hard pushed to make sense of confusing and apparently nonsensical statements issuing from White House staff and from President Trumpty himself, Dumpty countered that the administration held the media in the highest possible regard.
“Impenetrability is the key – We’ve already given special awards to six journalists for their exemplary coverage of the violent protests during the inauguration parade,” he said.
Asked to clarify whether he was referring to the six journalists arrested and charged with felony rioting, and facing punishments of up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000, Dumpty replied:
“That’s what I said, ‘exemplary coverage”‘ and ‘special awards’.” adding “And by ‘impenetrability’ I meant that we’ve had enough of that subject.” he said, suggesting that the assembled correspondents turn their attentions to the wall across the Mexican border, construction of which President Trumpty had earlier announced would start imminently.
“This is not a story we want to sit on.” he said, adding that the President planned to discuss the project with visiting UK prime minister Theresa May – along with a request for the loan ‘all the King’s horses and all the king’s men’, in case of possible problems.