Monday, May 21, 2012

Slyly Self-Undermining Sentence of the Day

He recognises no hierarchies, according to his assistant.
This is from a Telegraph interview with Noam Chomsky from two years ago. To be fair, do note this isn't Chomsky making the claim, or even his assistant, but the interviewer, Nigel Farndale, paraphrasing Chomsky's assistant. Not to mention that it's at least a small piece evidence of being a pretty cool guy if your assistant is willing to say that. All that said, however, the sentence itself struck me as funny. (Intentionally on the part of the interviewer? It doesn't sound like it., but maybe.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to say, "assistant" does not necessarily imply an organizational power-hierarchy. It's just a role, which (in theory) could be entirely voluntary and equal in terms of power.

Of course, MIT is an organizational power-hierarchy, so it's likely that Chomsky's assistant is subject to being fired by him, and therefore under Chomsky's power. But that does not follow from the mere use of the word "assistant."