The way we speak of things often loads assumptions onto the listener. None frustrates me more than the way we speak of incumbent Federal officeholders. Here is this from an online column today:
"Reid is currently struggling to hold onto his Senate seat in this year’s mid-term elections."

The subject is, of course, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. The load is "his Senate seat." (Or, maybe, the load is Reid, depending on your point of view.) His Senate seat? His? Possessive case? Yes, yes, I know that in one sense he has been seated in the Senate and, therefore, the chair he sits in could be called "his seat," but the position Reid occupies in the Senate belongs to the voters of Nevada, not Reid.

Too often, people who hear those words also hear that the seat belongs to Reid and far more often people like Reid act as if they own the seat. We should never make the mistake of accepting that idea.

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