Monday, April 21, 2008


Mark Steyn zeroed in on a statement by Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress, regarding the state of Canada's human rights commissions. After describing the limits the Supreme Court had (erroneously) assumed would be in place for any regulation of freedom of speech in Canada, he added,
So by all means, let's tweak the law to eliminate some of its discretionary elements.
I'm beginning to think that the word "tweak" has a different meaning in Canada, or maybe it's just in Ottawa, than it does in the rest of the world. Typically, it's a description of a minor adjustment of some sort. Your speakers are humming? Here, just move them one inch to the right, and voilà! Problem solved. There's a rattling sound on the right side of your car? Just tighten this little screw, and there you go - fixed.

Here in Ottawa, though, I've heard it used incessantly during this winter's disastrous hockey season. Actually, I've heard it over and over again for the past 3 YEARS whenever the Senators were asked why they have so much potential, yet always seem to fall down when it comes time to deliver.

"We put ourselves in a tough spot, but if they can win two at home, we can win two at home," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "We've just got to tweak a few things and get our crowd behind us. We feel we can win these two games." June 1, 2007

While Murray is undoubtedly be looking to tweak the Senator's lineup in the hopes of landing a skilled veteran to serve as an inspirational rallying point (à la Teemu, Bourque, Andreychuk...), giving up Fisher smacks of the short-term lunacy that has ruled the Leafs for decades. The Senators have a record of avoiding just this sort of short-term move. November 5, 2007

Instead of banishing Emery to the minors, waiving him, or just sending him home for the remainder of the year, Murray chose to tweak the cast around him. He moved Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves to Carolina for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman, and brought in veteran leader Martin Lapointe from Chicago at the trade deadline.
April 3, 2008

"We're still a pretty good young core of guys and we're gaining experience. We don't like to see ourselves in this position, and it's frustrating to all of us. I know myself, I feel like I'm still learning a bit on the job. Last year we had the great run and scored a lot of big goals and made clutch plays, and this year we haven't been able to do that. Maybe there's some things in my game I want to tweak. This maybe helps open up your eyes a little bit," he added. "The fortunate thing is you're still young still and can still learn from it. I think it would be a little drastic to blow up the core of guys we got. We're learning together here." (Jason Spezza, who got a royal total of one assist against Pittsburgh) April 15, 2008

That seems to be "tweaking", Canadian-style, and now it's being used (appropriately) to describe the Human Rights Commissions. It's a ritual lie, to describe something that's smashed beyond repair.

Like Monty Python's famous dead parrot: "'E's not dead! 'E just needs tweaking!"


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