The Corner

Vice Squad

Deborah Tannen says Joe Biden is a compassionate cusser but Dick Cheney is just a cuss:

Vice Presidents Joe Biden’s and Dick Cheney’s uses of the same expletive, on the surface, could not be more different. Biden’s whispered utterance, unexpectedly picked up by a microphone, was a moment of intimacy, a private acknowledgment that the excitement about a momentous event was appreciated and shared.

Cheney’s utterance was an expression of anger that was meant to be heard.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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