Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gov. Easley's fantasy?

What exactly was Gov. Mike Easley trying to say when he called “fantastic” the legislature’s passage of a bill that could cost $20 million more than a $40 million bill the governor vetoed the week before? Is the governor aware the word means “based on fantasy” and “so extreme as to challenge belief”?
Here’s what he said in a statement shortly after he signed the bill:
“This tool is a fantastic statement by the General Assembly that North Carolina is focused on the future and determined that our citizens will compete and win in the new world economy. This legislation will create cutting edge economic competitiveness in North Carolina, unlike any state in America. It requires huge investments -- each more than $200 million -- by companies that accept the challenge to build world-class facilities here that are the most technologically advanced on the globe. The bill ensures workers’ job security, wages, benefits and advanced training as part of the incentives. It is performance based with clear criteria for earning any incentive.”
No doubt the governor was using the word the same way the gubernator – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – often uses it, to connote a superlative – usually a positive one.
But here’s the Merriam Webster entry for “fantastic” from its online website:
1 a : based on fantasy : not real b : conceived or seemingly conceived by unrestrained fancy c : so extreme as to challenge belief : UNBELIEVABLE; broadly : exceedingly large or great 2: marked by extravagant fantasy or extreme individuality : ECCENTRIC 3 fantastic : EXCELLENT, SUPERLATIVE (a fantastic meal)
.... synonyms FANTASTIC, BIZARRE, GROTESQUE mean conceived, made, or carried out without adherence to truth or reality. FANTASTIC may connote unrestrained extravagance in conception or merely ingenuity of decorative invention (dreamed up fantastic rumors to spread). BIZARRE applies to the sensationally queer or strange and implies violence of contrast or incongruity of combination (a bizarre medieval castle built in the heart of a modern city). GROTESQUE may apply to what is conventionally ugly but artistically effective or it may connote ludicrous awkwardness or incongruity often with sinister or tragic overtones (grotesque statues adorn the cathedral) (though grief-stricken, she made a grotesque attempt at a smile). synonym see in addition IMAGINARY

I’m guessing these are not quite what the governor meant. But some folks probably think the legislature’s action really was unbelievable.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would guess that fantastic was meant in the context of the third definition, which would totally fit what I think he meant:

3 fantastic : EXCELLENT, SUPERLATIVE (a fantastic meal)

JAT said...

Jack:

It is no more fantastic than editors and reporters in this state having no ability to properly ground and identify what went on this week.

Yet that happened too.

http://www.johnlocke.org/lockerroom/lockerroom.html?id=13648

Anonymous said...

Why does the NC media avoid coverage of ALL the statewide CORRUPTION wielded through 100+ years of democrackkk domination?

'gov Sleazely is an embarrassment to our once great state'

'STRIVE to be SMARTER than a DEMOCRACKKK*!'

*spelled with 3Ks to honor the democrat heritage as the ORIGINAL party of SLAVERY!

David McKnight said...

Jack--

Maybe the Governor would like for the North Carolina Symphony and the Charlotte Symphony to play more music by Berlioz in the future--such as the "Symphonie Fantastique."

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