Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"How do you survive?" she asked Paul Muni. "I steal," he replied.

The word I want is inoculate.
Last week I posted about how New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had devoted his space to exploring all the advantages to Bush of Bush dumping Cheney, the point of this public airing being that Bush would thus be less likely to do it . The idea was that what would seem to be admiration of such a dump would -- coming from the left and explained cynically -- make it less likely to happen or result in Bush getting less advantage from it if he did it.
Today Jon Carroll started an "October Surprise" contest, inviting readers to predict just what such a cynical act of manipulation of the American voter might be, adding (without his characteristic irony):
 ... we hope that the existence of the contest might in some way inoculate the nation against some cynical manipulation by the Republicans.
That's a useful word for the practice of praising or suggesting something in the hope that scutiny will make it less likely to happen or less "virulent" if it does.
Dear Columnist: Do you ever inoculate your readers? I got a new question. 

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