If you need further proof that language need not actually make contact with reality, look no further than the following.
The King of Poland and a retinue of dukes and earls went out for a royal elk hunt. Just as they approached the woods, a serf came running out from behind a tree, waving his arms excitedly and yelling, “I am not an elk.”
The king took aim and shot the serf through the heart, killing him instantly.
“Good sire,” a duke said, “why did you do that? He said he was not an elk.”
“Dear me,” the king replied. “I thought he said he was an elk.”
From Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 – 1963, Robert Dallek:
In George Smathers’s 1950 Senate nomination campaign against incumbent Democrat Claude Pepper, Smathers successfully exploited Pepper’s reputation as a doctrinaire New Dealer and forceful advocate of the welfare state, which opened him to attacks as a Soviet sympathizer and “Stalin’s mouthpiece in the Senate,” or “Red” Pepper, as unscrupulous opponents called him. Whimsically taking advantage of the climate of suspicion and the extraordinary ignorance of his audience, Smathers shamelessly described Pepper in a speech as an “extrovert,” who practiced “nepotism” wit his sister-in-law and “celibacy” before his marriage, and had a sister who was a Greenwich Village “thespian.”
"Of course I am an absolute, pure democrat. But you know the problem? It's not even a problem, it's a real tragedy. The thing is that I am the only one, there just aren't any others in the world."
- Russian president Vladimir Putin
From NY Times
When he talks about why the economy is ailing, President Bush often turns to euphemism, citing “challenges in the housing and financial markets.” But Mr. Bush offered a far blunter assessment last week at a closed Republican fund-raiser in Houston: “Wall Street got drunk.”
“Wall Street got drunk — that’s one reason I asked you to turn off your TV cameras,” the president said at the fund-raiser, held at a private home on Friday to benefit Pete Olson, the Republican who is challenging Representative Nick Lampson. “It got drunk, and now it’s got a hangover. The question is, How long will it sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments?”
And finally, this bit from Jon Stewart and his writers. Be sure to watch the first couple of minutes at least - up the ping pong between Bush and Bernanke describing the economy.