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  1. #1
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    Post What does "leave it to Al" mean?

    Hi,

    What does the phrase "leave it to Al" mean?

    It comes from the book On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Chapter 3 of the book talks about clutter in writing. The author begins with "Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds...", then he goes on to give many examples of clutter,

    "Verbal camouflage reached new heights during General Alexander Haig's tenure as President Reagan's secretary of state. Before Haig nobody had thought of saying "at this juncture of maturization" to mean "now." He told the American people that terrorism could be fought with "meaningful sanctionary teeth" and that intermediate nuclear missiles were "at the vortex of cruciality." As for any worries that the public might harbor, his message was "leave it to Al," though what he actually said was:"We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation. I don't think there's much of a learning curve to be achieved in this area of content."

    The funny part is that I could figure out what "We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation. I don't think there's much of a learning curve to be achieved in this area of content", but don't see how "leave it to Al" means the same thing!! Hahaha

    Thanks for your help!


    BTW, I never thought I could enjoy reading a book that teaches writing so much!! And it is good to everybody.
    Last edited by ENuts; 29-Oct-2010 at 12:54.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What does "leave it to Al" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ENuts View Post
    Hi,

    What does the phrase "leave it to Al" mean?

    It comes from the book On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Chapter 3 of the book talks about clutter in writing. The author begins with "Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds...", then he goes on to give many examples of clutter,

    "Verbal camouflage reached new heights during General Alexander Haig's tenure as President Reagan's secretary of state. Before Haig nobody had thought of saying "at this juncture of maturization" to mean "now." He told the American people that terrorism could be fought with "meaningful sanctionary teeth" and that intermediate nuclear missiles were "at the vortex of cruciality." As for any worries that the public might harbor, his message was "leave it to Al," though what he actually said was:"We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation. I don't think there's much of a learning curve to be achieved in this area of content."




















































    The funny part is that I could figure out what "We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation. I don't think there's much of a learning curve to be achieved in this area of content", but don't see how "leave it to Al" means the same thing!! Hahaha

    Thanks for your help!


    BTW, I never thought I could enjoy reading a book that teaches writing so much!! And it is good to everybody.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    ENuts,


    I may be mistaken, but this is how I see it after having read your

    post several times.

    (1) "We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation." I

    assume that the sentence means something like:

    We should do everything possible to get the public to forget about

    such and such a matter. In other words, the people should not worry

    about the matter. I can see how that is an elegant way to say:

    The people should just leave it [the problem] to Al[exander Haig], for

    he will take care of everything -- no need for a high decibel of

    public fixation (that is, public concern).

    By the way, if I remember correctly, when President Reagan had an

    unfortunate experience, it was General Haig who said something like:

    "I am in charge [at the White House during this confusing period]."

    He was highly criticized for this attitude.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: What does "leave it to Al" mean?

    :"We must push this to a lower decibel of public fixation. I don't think there's much of a learning curve to be achieved in this area of content."
    This is meaningless gibberish.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What does "leave it to Al" mean?

    That's politicians for ya.

    Yes, Haig was the one who claimed to be in charge when Reagan was shot. As Secretary of State, he was several names down in the list of succession to the Presidency and he was widely ridiculed.

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    Default Re: What does "leave it to Al" mean?

    Thanks, that makes sense to me.

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