Thursday, March 22, 2018


The White House has a problem with getting its message out.

Trump boasted during the campaign that he has the “best words.” If the past 14 months in the White House are an indication, he and his team also have the worst spelling.

Among the many casualties of Washington’s protocols in the Trump era has been a lack of rigor to the accuracy of the printed word — whether it’s the president’s typo-filled tweets or the White House’s error-prone news releases.

“Special Council is told to find crimes, wether crimes exist or not,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning to start off a posting in which he misspelled “counsel” three times and had five errors in the span of 280 characters.

As journalists and others poked fun at the mistakes, the president quickly deleted the tweet and posted an edited version. He successfully changed “wether” to “whether” and eliminated an inadvertent repeat of the word “the” — but he failed to correct the three inaccurate references to the title of his nemesis, Robert S. Mueller III.

“If Trump directs Rosenstein to fire the special ‘council,’ I think we might be ok folks,” cracked former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara of New York, whom Trump fired last summer, referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

Amid all the chaos in the White House — including West Wing personnel drama, the Stormy Daniels scandal and Mueller’s Russia investigation — some wayward spellings and inaccurate honorifics might seem minor. But the constant small mistakes — which have dogged the Trump White House since the president’s official Inauguration Day poster boasted that “no challenge is to great” — have become, critics say, symbolic of the larger problems with Trump’s management style, in particular his lack of attention to detail and the carelessness with which he makes policy decisions.


Liz Allen, who served as White House deputy communications director under former president Barack Obama, said in an interview that the press office under the 44th president sought to be as rigorous as possible. Releases typically were proofread for accuracy and content by at least four or five people. Announcements that dealt with domestic policy issues and foreign affairs were vetted by experts at federal agencies and the National Security Council, she said.

That voice was a bit garbled last month when, according to the White House daily guidance, Trump was planning to address the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in “Oxen Hill.”

The proper spelling of the suburban Maryland jurisdiction is Oxon Hill, a mistake made more pronounced by the fact that the Gaylord resort is the home of the National Spelling Bee.

I actually think this is deliberate on the part of the Trumpistas; they got into office by appealing to the base of the the GOP, and if you’ve ever spent any time on a comment thread on the internet where they support Trump and his world view, you know that these folks were not paying attention in English class.  They seem to think spelling and grammar is an elitist left-wing conspiracy.  They’d much rather make America grate again.

One bark on “Spellchek

  1. Bingo. “I actually think this is deliberate on the part of the Trumpistas …They seem to think spelling and grammar is an elitist left-wing conspiracy.”

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