Americana: Slips of the Lips

If Mrs. Malaprop had been a politician, she would have felt right at home in the state legislature of Michigan. For the past eight years, reporters in Lansing have been collecting the most memorable utterances of the legislators, and their quotes would have done Malaprop proud. This homegrown version of Bartlett's now covers most of one wall in the capitol press room. Some show an appealing honesty. "Before I give you the benefit of my remarks," intoned one lawmaker, "I'd like to know what we're talking about." Others mangle metaphors. "From now on, I'm...

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