IT'S A BOONDOGGLE!
At a recent meeting of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, a sign-carrying protester voiced his displeasure with the Ohio River bridges project by yelling, "It's a boondoggle!" The occurrence has been widely reported in the local print media. Sadly, I have as yet seen no footage of the incident, nor have I heard any recording of it.
I have to smile when I picture this episode unfolding. What were the reactions of the committee members? Did people laugh? Was there an awkward silence? Were people shocked at the lack of decorum? My purpose in posting this is not to express an opinion on the bridges project, but rather to remark on what must have been an amusing public occurrence.
The word itself is funny. Boondoggle. According to Merriam-Webster, it means, "A wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft." It is a fetching word that I have not heard used very often. In this instance, the word clearly and succinctly expressed the speaker's feelings about the project.
I like the word. I think I'll have to add it to my repertoire and begin using it whenever possible. Perhaps I'll find some occasion when I can shout it out in a public forum. Meanwhile, if you happen to have been present at the meeting and would like to comment about the incident, please do. I would love to hear more about it.