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October 29, 2009

Arnold Sch@*&$#egger



"By taking the first letter of each line, beginning with the third line, two words emerge: The first is obscene; the second is 'you.'" - New York Times

"As in, a certain four-letter curse word, followed by its familiar friend 'you.'" - The edgy San Jose Mercury News

"However, a vertical reading of the first left-hand letter in each of the seven lines of the main body of the email suggests that the former Kindergarten Cop actor, who is due to leave office next year, was passing on an altogether less statesmanlike message. It reads: 'F-U-C-K-Y-O-U.'" - The Independent.

Well, at least newspapers in the UK aren't afraid to print the news. Indeed, the Independent went so far as to call out the US reporters for self-censorship. "The California governor yesterday found himself attempting to play down the revelation that a blunt email he sent to one of San Francisco's Democratic Assemblymen contained what US news bulletins have somewhat prudishly described as an 'X-rated rebuke'."

On a side note, many media outlets are grabbing onto the word "acrostic" in order to describe the positioning of the secret message, which is presumably because they all read each others' articles before writing their own.

The Governor's office is denying the message was intentional. I personally don't believe Arnold's message was meant to say "Fuck You". If you look at the letter more carefully, the real message is "I Fuck You", a somehow more obscene phrase which has its own implications.


Given that the Governator was likely to be responding to the bill's chief sponsor, and that they had previously sparred over Ahnuld's lack of follow-through on his verbal support for gay marriage, this may have even been an offer of reconciliation.

BTW, anyone see the NPR piece noting that the odds of this being a coincidence were 5.5 in a trillion?

mypalmike, the term "acrostic" isn't that uncommon. I would guess a fair number of English majors come across it. Lewis Carroll wrote one, for example, honoring the namesake of his most famous creation--Alice Pleasance Liddel.

I don't understand the objection to "acrostic". While it's true that far too many news articles just parrot other news articles, in this case it seems reasonable that they're all using the word "acrostic" because that's exactly what such things are called.

I would be surprised if more than 50 percent* of the journalists on this story thought, "hey, an acrostic!" Case in point: a Fox reporter in Sacramento apparently learned about "acrossticks" by interviewing a UC Davis professor.

That said, it seems reasonable that a journalist researching the story would come across the term pretty quickly. To Rubrick's comment, indeed it is what such things are called.

* This estimate is likely about as accurate as the numerous estimates reported for the odds of the acrostic being accidental. I think the rather awkward use of the phrase "kicks the can" makes the odds exactly zero.

mypalmike, you are using a Fox News reporter as an example of a "journalist" and as a measure of general knowledge and vocabulary?

Anyway, I see the message as I Fuck You S A, which I think has to do with the current fad of Governors having affairs with women from the continent to the South (That's South America, for you Fox News reporters).

For an errand boy sent by grocery clerks, Arnold is still hot.

Hm, I heard about this. So, I guess what you're saying is, "It's not a rumor!"

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