Ron Quixote, not quite up to date, still recalls when Dan Quayle might have been a GOP VP contender. Too late now – but not too late for RQ to make his own unique challenge. Critics laugh at politicians for the likes of their speaking bloopers. For example, Dan Quayle’s run for the presidency — or even his VP possibilities in opposition to Lloyd Bentson — turned out to be a major dud. Or was it a spud? Too bad for Quayle he didn’t have RQ or RKedit or another good editor backing him up. Before Quayle misspelled potato!
And of course who could forget Quayle’s only regret being that he hadn’t “studied Latin” in school so that he could speak the language in Latin America. That's so dumb it, it may well be an “urban legend,” RQ suggested. But even if the quote is made up it sounds like the Quayle we know.
Quayle might have been a candidate “in the running,” RQ notes — if, for example, he’d received an editorial consult about such attributed Quayle lines as: “The future will be better tomorrow.” And if a good editor, reading for content as well as for spelling, had kept him on his toes.
Today — he’s learned a few lessons — RQ doesn’t go charging off easily. “But let’s be fair,” RQ insists. “Many of us couldn’t spell potato correctly even if our lives depended upon it.” And Quayle’s not alone. And thus surely, RQ adds, plenty noticed the Chevy Nova campaign in Latin America (where “No va” means “No go”). Or the Ford Pinto in Brazil where “Pinto” means tiny male genitalia. Or the vacuum cleaner ad, “Nothing sucks like Electrolux.”
Most good editors would notice the “e” and the “c” and that blooper about “speaking Latin.” But RQ at RKedit tries to catch the more subtle flaws, too — such as the unmentioned serious problem in that Spanish blooper — the tendency, especially among politicians, to use words loosely without a good editor for back-up. Thus looking at Quayle’s supposed sentence heard round the world, jabbing with his pencil, RQ adds: Surely a “failure to learn Latin” couldn't be one's “only regret” or anything like that. And the general failure of the laughing critics to question the lack of credibility seems revealing. Get real!
By Ron Kenner — Get Real!