Mistakes Were Made

By Joseph Hesch

I hear the lying hairdos in the suits
with tiny flags on their lapels say it
without a blink or twitch all the time:
“Mistakes were made.”
I tell you, brothers and sisters,
these grammar grifters are sinning
right in your face because that statement
is a lie, a dodge, a bit of verbal
legerdemain and subterfuge,
It’s also passive voice, darn it.
The mistake is an act,
or the result of an act.
It needs an actor (though actors are,
by definition, hoaxers, too,
come to think of it).
“Mistakes were made,” is
the “Check is in the mail,”
the “Dog ate my homework,”
the “Of course I love you, baby,”
of socio-political discourse.
And it’s a sin. A sin against
all that is good and all that is
direct and correct. Most of all,
though, it’s a sin against
the Holy Trinity:
God, Strunk and White.
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