Practical definition: Government oversight

Posted by Marc Hodak on July 16, 2009 under Practical definitions | Be the First to Comment

Congress is fond of setting up oversight committees, and demanding that various agencies provide oversight to much of our economy.  They are clearly contemplating definition 1 from Webster’s:

1 a: watchful and responsible care b: regulatory supervision <congressional oversight>

When one sees the actual, as opposed to the theoretical workings of our governments, state and local, it’s impossible not consider definition 2 as more appropriate:

2: an inadvertent omission or error

As the inestimable Henry Stern points out, oversight is one of the few words in the English language that also means its own opposite.

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