Mike Dunford has a post about how some (ok, Fox News) are already stating the Obama isn’t really president because of the flub in today’s oath of office during the inauguration ceremonies – never mind that the former Senator actually became president at noon, about ten minutes before the actual oath (although Orin Kerr has an informative post on who was president from 12:00 to 12:10 as prompted by Howard Wasserman.).
I’m loving Twitter right now because Carl Zimmer brought my attention to a fantastic post earlier this afternoon by his brother, linguistics expert Benjamin Zimmer:
Early reports differ in saying who stumbled: NBC and ABC say the flub was Roberts’, while the AP says it was Obama’s. I think both men were a bit nervous, and the error that emerged from their momentary disfluency came down to a problem of adverbial placement.
Zimmer also quotes Jan Crawford Greenberg at ABC who noted the historical precedent for boofing the oath when Chief Justice William Howard Taft, the former president himself, substituted a word when swearing in Herbert Hoover in 1929.
Er, 1929. Not good.
I’m far from a lingustics expert but I’m proud that I also caught Roberts’ other flub of “president to the United States.”