They got it right this time

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Having learned his lesson in 2009, today Chief Justice Roberts apparently had the oath of office written out on a sheet of paper in his hand, and thereby avoided any uncertainties about adverb placement:

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For background, see

"Adverbial placement in the oath flub", 1/20/2009
"Rectifying the oath flub", 1/21/2009
"New light from Toobin on the oath flub story", 9/18/2012

And for discussion of the Zombie Rule about "split verbs" and its role in helping to generate the 2008 oath flub, see:

"The split verbs mystery", 8/23/2008
"When zombie rules attack", 8/26/2008
Steven Pinker, "Oaf of Office", New York Times 1/21/2009


  1. mgh said,

    January 20, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    on the topic of the inauguration, this line in today's paper seemed odd:

    "one word typically dominates second inaugural addresses — “I,” “I” and “I”!"

    first, LL has pointed out that this claim is usually false.

    second, shouldn't this be the jokey "three words" — a snowclone of the three secrets of business success ("location, location, location") ?

  2. Allan L. said,

    January 20, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    "They"? I thought the errors were attributed to one of the participants. "This time"? I thought, as reported in other blogs, that a gratuitous sentence, not taken from the constitution, was added at the end ("So help me God") and garbled by the Chief Justice into "So help you God" but corrected by the President.

  3. Stitch said,

    January 21, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    This'll be a great trivia question years form now: "Other than Franklin D. Roosevelt, what president took the oath of office four times?"

  4. Lane said,

    January 22, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    But Biden freelanced a couple of tiny changes, which I wrote up here.

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