Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Today's word: illeism

illeism: Reference to oneself in the third person, usually to excess. Two famous illeists are Richard Nixon ("You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore!") and Bob Dole. Dole actually got some help during his presidential campaign to get him to lessen the number of illeisms. That didn't stop Norm MacDonald of Saturday Night Live, of course. After the election, Bob Dole came on SNL with a good attitude and a sense of humor: Norm MacDonald: Aw, come on now, Senator, it's a great impression. Listen to this: [speaking in his Bob Dole voice] "Come November 5th, a lot of people are going to be surprised by Bob Dole, because Bob Dole's gonna win this election!" Bob Dole: [shaking head] Doesn't sound a thing like me. First of all, I don't run around saying "Bob Dole does this" and "Bob Dole does that." That's not something Bob Dole does. It's not something Bob Dole has ever done, and it's not something Bob Dole will ever do! A more recent illeist is Dobby, the house elf. You can find a lot more examples at Wikipedia.