Pedantry with weeklyrob

The Ugly American book cover

I mentioned to some friends today that I should start a podcast called: Pedantry with weeklyrob.

And I was assured that such a podcast, coming from me, would be “apt.”

Instead, I’ll just write a blog post about the particular piece of pedantry that inspired me to suggest the podcast.

When people talk about an “Ugly American,” they usually mean an American who acts badly (usually arrogantly) while in another country.

But I thought I’d point out that the original ugly American, from the book of the same name, was physically ugly, but not arrogant at all. He was sensitive to the feelings and concerns of the people in the country where he worked. In fact, he was just the kind of government officer that we really want and need overseas. He just happened to be ugly.

By the way, the book wasn’t about tourists, but about diplomats and diplomatic means. The authors were trying to get the US government to change how it did diplomacy in countries that could choose communism at any moment.

And so ends this episode of “Pedantry with weeklyrob.”

2 Responses to Pedantry with weeklyrob

  1. BruceS December 14, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Thanks for that. It’s inspired me to consider reading the book, though I often plan to read something and don’t get around to it.

  2. weeklyrob December 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    I thought it was pretty interesting. How the Soviets were building soft power while we were squandering it.

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