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Oh, All Right: I Admit I Am Actually Quite Amazing

This morning brings a bouquet of admissions to my eyes:

Some admissions regard other people:

Scaredhuman of Daily Kos on Hillary Clinton: “Hillary Rodham Clinton understands issues from the most visionary and abstract level right down to the most detailed level. Admittedly, a ‘policy wonk,’ she achieves an in-depth understanding of every issue so that she can work to achieve changes in policy that will affect the everyday lives of Americans.”

Michael Fraase of Arts and Farces on Al Franken: “Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota), admittedly a policy wonk, demonstrated that he understood the network neutrality question better than anyone else in the US Congress or the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).”

Diana Kuyper of the Lake County News-Sun on Paul Ryan: “My youngest daughter was 14 years old when she met him. Now a Lake County resident, she was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning as she watched Romney introduce Ryan as his running mate. ‘He is smart. He is genuine. He has charisma,’ she said. ‘I thought so back then, and I haven’t changed my opinion. He is a rock star of the Republican Party.’ He is self-admittedly a policy wonk, but he is a brilliant and articulate wonk.”

And some people make admissions about themselves:

Charles Wheelan, Ph.D. on Charles Wheelan, Ph.D.: “I am admittedly a policy wonk. I have a Ph.D. in public policy. I have supported both a carbon tax and congestion pricing in this column. When I go to lunch with colleagues, we sometimes talk about rural health care delivery or the No Child Left Behind Act — for fun, like other people talk about sports or video games.”

Jim from Boston on Jim from Boston: “The weekly columns are total mileage for the week. I then graph my actual weekly mileage in comparison to the weekly quota (as side-by-side vertical bar graphs), and I graph my daily mileage similarly with a secondary line graph of my daily average speed. OK, I admit I am a wonk, but it’s very motivating to see the display and gratifying to enter the data.”

Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Baltimore Sun on Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Baltimore Sun: “In Which I Confess I am a Wonk: I’m interested in the housing market. That’s a safe confession, right? Who isn’t, nowadays? But I admit that I’ve been interested before it was quite so obviously interesting — before the slump, before the boom, back in the days when things seemed more or less normal and hardly worth talking about at parties. OK, I’m a wonk, but I swear there is method to my wonkishness.”

When did an interest in detailed knowledge become a trait that had to be admitted? Do these writers acknowledge anti-intellectualism? Maybe, but something in these admissions reminds me of the classic job interview answer: “Weakness? Well, if I have to admit it sometimes I just work too hard.”

Some other uses of the word “admittedly”, courtesy of Twitter:

Do we need a new definition for “admittedly?”

Ad-mit-ted-ly. adverb. willingly confessed traits, framed as faults but with a subtext of pride

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