Americans have a reputation for directness. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m often puzzled about where it comes from. But when Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail todayfor the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, it reminded me of a striking example of AmE plain speaking.
It comes from a hearing where the Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman was questioning the government watchdog (the Securities and Exchange Commission), wanting to know how they had managed to ignore numerous tip offs for nearly a decade. Ackerman, as he puts it, is reflecting how the American public feels.
What the heck went on?
You have totally and thoroughly failed in your mission. Don’t you get it?
This is huge. How d’you miss that?
And my personal top favourite:
You couldn’t find your backside with two hands if the lights were on.