Reeling and Writhing

And he grinned almost from ear to ear, as he leant forwards (and as nearly as possible fell off the wall in doing so) and offered Alice his hand.She watched him a little anxiously as she took it. 'If he smiled much more, the ends of his mouth might meet behind,' she thought: 'and then I don't know what would happen to his head! I'm afraid it would come off!  Furthermore,’ she thought, 'what is up with his hair?  It does not seem to move in the least!''So here's a question for you,' he said.  'Why did it take the president 14 days before he called the act in Benghazi an act of terror?''Why, I don't believe it did,' Alice said very politely.  'Didn't he call it an act of terror in the rose garden?''Wrong!' Humpty Romney exclaimed triumphantly.  'He never said a word like it!''Didn't he?' Alice said.'You don't know what you're talking about!' cried Romney Dumpty.  'He never said it, not once!'Alice couldn't help smiling as she took out her memorandum-book, and showed him the transcript:Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.  No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.Rompty Mitty took the book, and looked at it carefully.  'Is that what he said—' he began.'You're holding it upside down!' Alice interrupted.'To be sure I was!' Humney Dompty said gaily, as she turned it round for him.  'I thought it looked a little queer.  As I was saying, that seems to be accurate, but it doesn't change a thing.  He said "acts of terror," but he didn't mean "acts of terror."''He didn't?' said Alice.'No,' said Rumpty Mumney.  'He said "acts of terror," but he meant "spontaneous violence that involved no terrorist personnel whatsoever, and Fast and Furious and single moms and also Obamacare."''But "acts of terror" doesn't mean any of those things,' Alice objected.'Terror is an emotional state, a kind of fear, the way a person might feel about death or a mouse or financial scrutiny,' Hompty Domney continued thoughtfully.  'It isn't the same as terrorism.  Except when it is.  Like when someone from my side says it.  But when the president said it he didn't mean it the way we mean it when we say it... he meant it the other way, the way he means it when he says it.''How can you tell the difference?' Alice said with a puzzled air.'It is a mostprovokingthing,' he said, 'when a person doesn't know terror from terror!''I know it's very ignorant of me,' Alice said.  'The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.'Rombert Romford broke into a wide grin.  'Oh, I can, my friend,' he exclaimed.  'When I make a word do a lot of work like that, I always pay it extra.  And if it fails me in any capacity, then I fire it straight away.  Hey, did I mention that I ran the Olympics?'