Freedom and Freedom and Freedom For All

Reading Wikipedia in Spanish the other day (because why not) and stumbling through my usual Nick Cage inspired pidgin-translation process (primavera = ad for pasta primavera sauce = first movement of Vivaldi’s four seasons la primavera = spring) I had a sudden realisation. The Encilopdia Libre is of course the Free Encyclopedia to us who like to piss off linguists by mixing Germanic and Latin in a single sentence, but in the process of translation (libre = liberty = freedom = we have to kidnap the president of the United States) I suddenly realised that one of the most popular pieces of American rhetoric is a load of tautological nonsense, given that Freedom and Liberty are in fact, exactly the same freaking thing. Freedom just happens to be the germanic way of saying the more latinate liberty for those of us who prefer not to sound like pompous knobs.

That lovable boob of a tyrannical warmonger George Bush was, of course, the prime culprit of this literal doublespeak, but even the great orator himself, Barry Obama, recently perpetuated this gaffe when referring to punk icon Margaret Thatcher as “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty” (though to be fair this may have had more to do with padding out an otherwise rather barren list of positive traits).

Please leave your thesis for why St. Thatcher was a great reformer who I’m not worthy of even speaking the name of in the comments section below, or better yet, let us know of any circumlocutious and superfluous tautologies that you’ve run into!

An image of a picture.

Courtesy XKCD

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