Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eschew obfuscation

I'm a bit of  a loon when it comes to bumper stickers.  The back of my car is plastered with several delightfully-opinionated bumper stickers.

Bumper stickers are common in Ontario but here in Nova Scotia I seem to be the only driver cruising the streets with a car covered with witty liberalisms.

In this area you do see small fish stickers coveying the message that you are driving behind a Christian and hence there is an implied warning that when the the Rapture occurs, the car ahead will careen out of control as it suddenly becomes driverless.  There.  You've been warned. 

Less often you'll see the same small stickers but with legs added to the fish.  This is affectionately referred to a the "Darwin Fish" and implies that the driver will be left behind during the Rapture and will need to drive skillfully to avoid all those driverless cars.  It also means that the driver (unlike Stephen Harper) believes the world is well over 6,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs did not actually co-exist.

Because of our Naval base and the Shearwater Forces base, there is an obvious military presence here.  "Support our Troops" ribbons and signs are quite common.  However, there is a bumper sticker that I see from time to time that gets my goat.  Perhaps you've seen it.  It says: "If you don't stand behind our Troops -- Feel free to stand in front of them".  

The last time I looked we still had free speech here in Canada.  The implied (I seem to be using that word a lot today) threat is that if you don't support our troops, you should be shot.  Nice.  Thanks.  I don't appreciate the "agree with us or else" stance.  To me it is very un-Canadian. 

But you're wondering about the title of today's Blog.

Believe it or not, I read it on a bumper sticker the other day.  "Eschew obfuscation".  I had to run home and Google it to make sure I understood what it was saying.

From our good friends a Wikipedia I got:

Eschew obfuscation ..." is an example of a fumblerule.  Fumblerules are humorous rules for writing, collected from teachers of English grammar.  A fumblerule contains an example contrary to the advice it gives, such as "don't use no double negatives" ...


"Literally, the phrase means "avoid ambiguity, adopt clarity", but the use of relatively uncommon words causes confusion, making the phrase an example of irony, and more precisely a heterological or hypocritical phrase (it does not embody its own advice)."

And to think this little educational adventure and Bloggy rant was started by a two-word bumper sticker !


  1. Here's a nice conservative one for you... it always cracks me up :)

    If guns kill people, then spoons make Michael Moore fat.

  2. Awww fiddle-faddle! How's that for clarity!

  3. I like your coexist and peace bumper stickers. I'm from the States but I saw one recently I liked: "I'd rather live next door to an immigrant than a racist."


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