It’s official: “Alternative facts” tops the list of “notable quotes” from 2017.
That’s according to Fred Shapiro, associate director of the Yale Law School Library. He publishes this annual list, which also includes a bunch of runner-up doozies.
Shortly after last January, when Kellyanne Conway left this devil-spawn baby on our lexical doorstep, I jotted down my reaction (published below for the first time):
“Alternative facts” is the latest in Big-Brother doublespeak.
The expression is a tortured euphemism for, well, you know. (By now it’s been pretty thoroughly deconstructed.)
But has anyone else noticed that the very letters in “alternative facts” rearrange to spell:
✦ “Attractive ‘n’ false”
✦ “Fatter, vacant lies”
✦ “Vital fatcat sneer”
✦ “Fascinate alert TV”; and
✦ “Recant vast, fat lie” ?
It’s true! But even though there cannot, by definition, be alternative facts, there always are alternative anagrams.
For example, Julian Lofts, in The Anagram Times, notes that “alternative facts” also is an alternative spelling of “an evil statecraft”.
And Charles Bergquist (@cbquist on Twitter) mentions “rent a cat festival”! I can hardly wait to see what Chris Davis (@TweakYourPC) comes up with!