Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"That One" Is 2008's "You Forgot Poland"

Presidential debates are like open wheel auto races: The participants have little contact with each other making them generally dull, but the crashes are spectacular if they occur. And mercifully, they go by pretty fast.

But as tedious as debates generally are, they do occasionally contribute some few bytes to the popular culture data stream. This cycle, the contribution seems destined to be John McCain referring to Barack Obama as "that one." If I have found the last person in the Western Hemisphere who hasn't seen it yet, here is the clip:

I'm less scandalized by this than some. More than anything I find it curious to hear John "Western Maverick" McCain using what I always considered to be a mid-Atlantic colloquialism. I never heard it before my stint in the DC area, but there it was pretty common. And people generally used it affectionately but teasingly, rather than coldly dismissively.

I haven't been able to verify it's origins as "that one" is pretty much impossible to Google. Someone with a better working knowledge of linguistics blogs than I (*cough* K-Pho *cough*) may be able to help out with this.

In any event, just like "You forgot Poland" was up and viral within hours of the '04 debate, some enterprising souls have up and running, complete with merch. (H/t Dave Harding at ProgOH.) And because this is 08, not 04, we also have a Facebook page.


Ben said...

"You forgot Poland" really changed the outcome last time, right?

If anyone was actually offended by that, which I doubt, then they werent voting for McCain anyways.

Mencken said...

"You forgot Poland" didn't change the outcome of the last election, but throw it on the pile with the rest of W's verbal gaffes, it may contribute to the outcome of this election.