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May 4, 2005

Pronunciation: &-'prE-shE-"At, -'pri- also -'prE-sE-
Function: verb
Etymology: Late Latin appretiatus, past participle of appretiare, from Latin ad- + pretium price
1 a: to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of b: to value or admire highly c: to judge with heightened perception or understanding : be fully aware of d: to recognize with gratitude

Merriam-Webster, "Appreciate"

Two, four, six, eight -- Whom does President Bush appreciate?

I decided to find out, but after 150 instances my head started to hurt and I stopped looking. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating study in rhetoric.

Most of the time the president uses his appreciation as a form of roll call. He starts most speeches by naming others in the room and whether he "appreciates" or "appreciates so very much" their presence.

Sometimes he uses it as a synonym for thanks, but with a dose of ambiguity. Like when he says "I want to appreciate your wise counsel" -- it's not clear whether he appreciates it or not, nor how wise he truly considers your counsel. I want to think he's being a smart ass here.

Often he appreciates things that don't necessarily exist -- "strong bipartisan support," "the courage of most Americans," "your understanding" -- as if by "appreciating" them he can will them into being, like the sign in the diner restroom that says "We appreciate your cleanliness" whether you're smearing feces on the walls or not.

I think the foible I appreciate most is the way he appreciates things that he likely does not in fact appreciate. Questions, for example. Whenever a reporter asks a real stinker, President Bush likes to say how much he appreciates the question. But a president who averages less than one prime-time press conference a year does not strike me as a man who appreciates being questioned. Perhaps "I appreciate that question" is a code phrase to the IRS, meaning, "Commence the audit."

At any rate, I hope you appreciate the hour or so it took me to document all this.

  1. "Fidel, I appreciate your tone, I appreciate your constructive work on this issue." (May 4, 2005)
  2. "I appreciate you letting us use you as an example, looking forward to meeting the kids." (May 4, 2005)
  3. "I appreciate you bringing the payroll taxes in." (May 4, 2005)
  4. "I appreciate you bringing that up again, Elizabeth." (May 4, 2005)
  5. " I appreciate you saying I brought up an issue that I didn't need to bring up." (May 4, 2005)
  6. "Thanks, Sam. Good job. I appreciate it." (May 3, 2005)
  7. "I appreciate you understanding that you're going to get your check." (May 3, 2005)
  8. "And I appreciate that gesture ... And I appreciate that gesture." (April 28, 2005)
  9. "I appreciate that question." (April 28, 2005)
  10. "I appreciate the strong bipartisan support for supporting our troops in harm's way." (April 28, 2005)
  11. "I appreciate his courage and the courage of those who are willing to serve the Iraqi people in government." (April 28, 2005)
  12. "I appreciate such a generous welcome." (April 27, 2005)
  13. "I appreciate the courage that Marianne has shown and her determination to succeed." (April 27, 2005)
  14. "I appreciate the fine job he's done ... I appreciate the ambassadors who are here ... And I appreciate you all giving me a chance to come by and visit with you." (April 27, 2005)
  15. "I appreciate the fact that our small business owners are taking risks and pursuing dreams ... I appreciate the fact that the small business entrepreneurs are some of the great innovators in our nation." (April 27, 2005)
  16. "I appreciate the fact that the Senate has passed a version of the budget." (April 27, 2005)
  17. "I appreciate the leadership in the House." (April 27, 2005)
  18. "I appreciate Mike McIntyre from North Carolina joining us ... I appreciate Michael Steele, the Lieutenant Governor from Maryland. I appreciate Gordon England, who's the Secretary of the Navy ... And I appreciate Vice Admiral Rod Rempt for your hospitality at the games." (April 20, 2005)
  19. "I appreciate Secretary Don Rumsfeld joining us today ... I appreciate Secretary Francis Harvey ... I appreciate the family members who have joined us today ... I appreciate Chaplain David Hicks, for his invocation." (April 7, 2005)
  20. "I appreciate citizens from Iraq who have joined us. I appreciate my fellow citizens who have joined us." (March 29, 2005)
  21. "I appreciate the determination of the Iraqi electoral workers." (March 29, 2005)
  22. "We appreciate the fact that Canada's tar sands are now becoming economical." (March 23, 2005)
  23. "I appreciate the meetings we've just had." (March 23, 2005)
  24. "I appreciate the commitment of the prime minister and the president toward a spirit of partnership to outlast whatever politics may occur." (March 23, 2005)
  25. "Thank you, Paul, I appreciate that very much. " (March 23, 2005)
  26. "I appreciate the fact that the unemployment rate here in Colorado is 4.9 percent." (March 21, 2005)
  27. "I appreciate the idea." (March 21, 2005)
  28. "Yes, I appreciate you saying that." (March 21, 2005)
  29. "I appreciate so much, Senator, your willingness to join in this issue." (March 21, 2005)
  30. "I appreciate the world leaders taking my phone calls." (March 16, 2005)
  31. "I do appreciate the public concern about the use of steroids in sports ... So I appreciate the fact that baseball is addressing this, and I appreciate the fact that the Congress is paying attention to the issue." (March 16, 2005)
  32. "I appreciate the fine example that you have set for aspiring young scientists." (March 14, 2005)
  33. "I really appreciate what Boston does off the field, too ... I appreciate what individual players do ... I appreciate what the Red Sox are doing in the Dominican Republic with Seor Octubre." (March 2, 2005)
  34. "I appreciate the willingness of these men to take on these tough new assignments in an extraordinary moment in our nation's history." (Feb. 17, 2005
  35. "Thank you all very much for your attention and questions. Appreciate it." (Feb. 17, 2005)
  36. "I appreciate people bringing forth ideas." (Jan. 26, 2005)
  37. "I appreciate that question." (Jan. 26, 2005)
  38. "I appreciate His Majesty's understanding of the need for democracy to advance in the greater Middle East." (Jan. 26, 2005)
  39. "I appreciate your hard work. ... We really appreciate you having us. I appreciate the Justices of the Supreme Court being here... I appreciate General Myers ... I appreciate Barbara and Jenna." (Jan. 20, 2005)
  40. "Fuel -- I appreciate Fuel being here." (Jan 18, 2005)
  41. "Yes, I appreciate that question." (Dec. 20, 2004)
  42. "Well, I appreciate that, Ed, but we did take on Medicare." (Dec. 20, 2004)
  43. "Yes, I appreciate that." (Dec. 20, 2004)
  44. "I appreciate the nations of Great Britain and Germany and France who are working to try to convince Iran to honor their international treaty obligations." (Nov. 26, 2004)
  45. "I appreciate his work to fight Internet pornography ... I appreciate his service and wish him and Janet all the best." (Nov. 9, 2004)
  46. "I appreciate that. Listen, I've made some very hard decisions." (Nov. 4, 2004)
  47. "I appreciate all people who voted." (Nov. 4, 2004)
  48. "I appreciate you being here to watch it. And I really do appreciate working with Mr. Chairman ... I appreciate other members of the congressional delegation who are with us today ... I appreciate my friend, Jim Leach being here ... I appreciate his hard work on this bill and I appreciate him working with Chuck Grassley to get the bill done ... I appreciate members of the ex-governors club who've joined us today. ... I appreciate their friendship ... appreciate you coming." (Oct. 4, 2004)
  49. "I appreciate the members of Congress who are here today." (Oct. 4, 2004)
  50. "I appreciate the strong leadership of the -- of those who represent the armies of compassion." (Sept. 30, 2004)
  51. "I appreciate you serving your respective countries and working together to make the world a better place." (Sept. 22, 2004)
  52. "I appreciate your courage. I appreciate your leadership ... And I appreciate your will, and I appreciate your strength." (Sept. 21, 2004)
  53. "I appreciate his courage."(Sept. 21, 2004)
  54. "I appreciate you giving me the chance to come on and have, what we say in Texas, 'Just a visit.'" (Sept. 28, 2004)
  55. "I appreciate the hard work of the commission over the past 20 months." (Aug. 24, 2004)
  56. "I appreciate the Senate's work." (Aug. 9, 2004)
  57. "I appreciate the solid and bipartisan support of this bill. I appreciate both people -- people of both parties coming together to support our troops." (Aug. 5, 2004)
  58. "I appreciate so very much those in my Cabinet who have worked hard to make this agreement come true." (Aug. 3, 2004)
  59. "I appreciate Prime Minister Howard, he's a strong partner in peace." (Aug. 3, 2004)
  60. "I want to know the facts. I appreciate the fact-finders working hard." (Aug. 9, 2004)
  61. "I appreciate -- listen, one of the reasons I enjoy working with LULAC so much is I appreciate your commitments to freedom and to entrepreneurship ... Once again, I appreciate the good work of LULAC." (July 8, 2004)
  62. "I appreciate your understanding for the need for us, whoever is traveling with me, to get moving." (June 10, 2004)
  63. "I appreciate your willingness to work on promoting freedom around the world ... I appreciate your government's good work. I appreciate very much the Chancellor's help in Afghanistan ... I appreciate our mutual work on the U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq." (June 8, 2004)
  64. "Thanks, Gerhard, I appreciate you." (June 8, 2004)
  65. "I appreciate the fact that we've got scholarship and award recipients who are with us. And I appreciate the distinguished guests who are here, as well." (May 19, 2004)
  66. "I appreciate his good, strong advice." (May 19, 2004)
  67. "What I appreciate is the fact that in the contracts you sign with the players that you include a commitment to participate in at least 10 public service events each year. I appreciate the commitment. I also appreciate the players' commitment, as well." (May 10, 2004)
  68. "I appreciate Sununu, the Senator from New Hampshire." (May 10, 2004)
  69. "I appreciate the dramatic comebacks that you were capable of making. I like it when a kicker ends up winning the game." (May 10, 2004)
  70. "I appreciated your strong words, and I really appreciate your faith." (May 5, 2004)
  71. "Thank you for what you do. I appreciate you." (May 5, 2004)
  72. "I appreciate your vision and your understanding of that, Your Majesty." (May 6, 2004)
  73. "I appreciate your friendship, and I appreciate the opportunity to hear your thoughts on a range of issues that face your country." (May 6, 2004)
  74. "I appreciated your advice, Your Majesty." (May 6, 2004)
  75. "I want to appreciate your wise counsel, Your Majesty." (May 6, 2004)
  76. "I appreciate you coming." (May 6, 2004)
  77. "I appreciate the Prime Minister understanding that vision." (April 16, 2004)
  78. "No matter where they may stand on this war, the thing I appreciate most about our country is the strong support given to the men and women in uniform." (April 13, 2004")
  79. "I appreciate the candid discussion we've had." (Feb. 25, 2004)
  80. "I appreciate you bringing up the Russian bases problem." (Feb. 25, 2004)
  81. "I appreciate his willingness to go to Iraq and I appreciate his willingness to gather facts." (Jan. 27, 2004)
  82. "I appreciate your friendship, I appreciate your strength." (Jan. 27, 2004)
  83. "I appreciate David Kay's contribution." (Jan. 27, 2004)
  84. "I appreciate Ozzie Guillen being here." (Jan. 23, 2004)
  85. "I appreciate the fact that Josh Beckett -- a big, old Texan I might add -- (laughter) -- is involved with youth baseball." (Jan. 23, 2004)
  86. "I appreciate the joint efforts of the Russians with our country to explore ... I appreciate the astronauts of yesterday who are with us as well, who inspired the astronauts of today to serve our country. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress being here. ... I appreciate your interest in this subject." (Jan. 14, 2004)
  87. "I appreciate Commander Mike Foale's introduction. I'm sorry I couldn't shake his hand." (Jan. 14, 2004)
  88. "To John Travolta. (We shall call him 'Moon Man' from now on.) I appreciate your friendship. I appreciate your love of flight. Thank you for being such a fine entertainer." (Dec. 17, 2003)
  89. "I appreciate so very much American heroes who are here, well-known and not so well-known heroes." (Dec. 17, 2003)
  90. "I appreciate that question." (Dec. 15 , 2003)
  91. "I appreciate the fact that durable orders for durable goods are up." (Dec. 15 , 2003)
  92. "I appreciate the Hot Shot team members from the great state of California." (Dec. 3, 2003)
  93. "I appreciate the representatives of the conservation groups who have worked in a constructive way to help change the attitude inside the halls of the United States Congress." (Dec. 3, 2003)
  94. "I appreciate the fact that the Indonesian government was able to accommodate my desires to come here." (Oct. 22, 2003)
  95. "I appreciate Vin for the short introduction. I'm a man who likes short introductions. And he didn't let me down. But more importantly, I appreciate the invitation. I appreciate the members of Congress who are here, senators from both political parties, members of the House of Representatives from both political parties. I appreciate the ambassadors who are here. I appreciate the guests who have come. I appreciate the bipartisan spirit, the nonpartisan spirit of the National Endowment for Democracy." (Oct. 16, 2003)
  96. "I appreciate very much your commitment to trade and markets ... I appreciate your honesty and openness and forthrightness when it comes to battling the pandemic of AIDS ... I appreciate your leadership, and I appreciate your friendship." (Aug. 12, 2003)
  97. "I appreciate her strength; I appreciate her courage. And I appreciate you being here today, Madam President ... I appreciate President Arroyo's leadership." (May 19, 2003)
  98. "I appreciate his advice, I appreciate his counsel." (April 29, 2003)
  99. "I appreciate those who are members of the faith-based world who have answered the call, the universal call, to help a brother and sister in need." (April 29, 2003)
  100. "You asked about sharing of intelligence, and I appreciate that." (March 6, 2003)
  101. "I appreciate societies in which people can express their opinion." (March 6, 2003)
  102. "I appreciate that question a lot." (March 6, 2003)
  103. "I had a chance to tell both soldier and loved one alike that their service to our country was noble and strong and good. And I appreciated that very much." (Jan. 17, 2003)
  104. "I appreciate you all. giving me a chance to talk about a significant problem which faces America." (Jan. 16, 2003)
  105. "Thanks for your good work, and I certainly appreciate it all." (Nov. 19, 2002)
  106. "I appreciate those kind remarks, Rosario. You're a gran amiga. Buenos dias." (Oct. 17, 2002)
  107. "I appreciate so very much the chair of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I appreciate so very much the President and CEO." (Oct. 17, 2002)
  108. "I appreciate their spirit. I appreciate their love for country ... I appreciate the spirit in which members of Congress are considering this vital issue." (Sept. 26, 2002)
  109. "I appreciate the government of Portugal for its strong support in the war against terror." (Sept. 10, 2002)
  110. "I appreciate the way the House voted the bill." (Sept. 5, 2002)
  111. "I appreciate so very much Vice President Cheney's hard work on this issue. I appreciate Colin Powell and Ann Veneman, who ably serve in my Cabinet .... And I appreciate Elaine Chao as well. ... I appreciate so very much Cal Dooley, and a guy I call "Jeff", William Jefferson, Congressmen from California and Louisiana ... I appreciate your leadership and I appreciate your work and I appreciate your help." (Aug. 6, 2002)
  112. "I appreciate so very much Senator Rick Santorum and Congressman Steve Chabot from Ohio for sponsoring this important piece of legislation. I also appreciate Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Congresswoman Melissa Hart for coming, as well ... I appreciate Hadley Arkes." (Aug. 5, 2002)
  113. "I want to appreciate Chip's support of the tax relief plan." (Aug. 7, 2002)
  114. "I appreciate the long hours that they're putting in. I appreciate their love for America and their patriotism during this trying time for our country." (July 16, 2002)
  115. "I appreciate so very much his leadership and his continued willingness to find a new common ground in this most important relationship." (June 27, 2002)
  116. "I appreciate you saying that, Martha. I appreciate you hear me say that I appreciate the fact that our country prays for me and Laura." (June 27, 2002)
  117. "I appreciate her leadership. I appreciate her concern." (June 25, 2002)
  118. "I appreciate the good -- I appreciate, I want to thank Chad Ettmueller, who's the -- I guess the man in charge of the Red Cross here." (June 25, 2002)
  119. "I really appreciate the theme of this conference and the importance of the conference." (June 19, 2002)
  120. "I appreciate you answering my mail, Mr. Congressman." (June 19, 2002)
  121. "The thing I appreciate is that you understand education should prepare children for jobs, and it also should prepare our children for life." (June 19, 2002)
  122. "I appreciate you qualifying it that way." (June 13, 2002)
  123. "I appreciate all the Mexicans who are here today." (May 3, 2002)
  124. "I appreciate President Fox's leadership in our hemisphere ... I appreciate his vision." (May 3, 2002)
  125. "I told the Crown Prince how much I appreciate his vision for a peaceful and integrated Middle East, and how I appreciated his leadership in helping rally the Arab world toward that vision. I also appreciated the Crown Prince's assurance that Saudi Arabia condemns terror." (April 25, 2002)
  126. "I appreciate that, respect that, and expect that to be the case." (April 25, 2002)
  127. "I reminded him how much I appreciated his statement toward Israel ... Then he went and sold that in Beirut, and I appreciated that, as well." (April 25, 2002)
  128. "The government has been acting, and I appreciate that very much." (April 25, 2002)
  129. "I deeply appreciate President Fox's early support and his continuing advice." (March 22, 2002)
  130. "I really appreciate the fact that my National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, is here to offer prayer. appreciate the members of my Cabinet who are here." (Feb. 7, 2002)
  131. "I appreciate her example of faith made stronger in trial." (Feb. 7, 2002)
  132. "I appreciate the work the airlines have done with the Federal Aviation Administration." (Nov. 19, 2001)
  133. "I appreciate Norm Mineta, who is here." (Nov. 2, 2001)
  134. "I appreciate the patience of the American people." (Nov. 2, 2001)
  135. "I appreciate the courage of most Americans." (Nov. 2, 2001)
  136. "I appreciate diplomatic talk, but I'm more interested in action and results." (Oct. 11, 2001)
  137. "I personally think that a -- and I appreciate Tony Blair's -- and I've discussed this with him -- his vision about Afghan after we're successful -- Afghanistan after we're successful." (Oct. 11, 2001)
  138. "I appreciate the actions of that government." (Oct. 11, 2001)
  139. "I appreciate my friend Tom Ridge." (Aug. 26, 2001)
  140. "I appreciate a straightforward fellow, a fellow who you know where he stands." (Aug. 26, 2001)
  141. "I want to appreciate and thank the U.S. Steel and its workers for a good conservation policy." (Aug. 26, 2001)
  142. "I appreciate your strong stance on holding the line on cutting the car tax in Virginia." (Aug. 26, 2001)
  143. "I appreciate so very much the supplemental that got passed." (Aug. 26, 2001)
  144. "Mr. Prime Minister, I appreciate your leadership." (Aug. 23, 2001
  145. "I appreciate so very much the Italian leadership in the Balkans." (Aug. 23, 2001)
  146. "I appreciate so very much President Putin's willingness to think differently about how to make the world more peaceful." (Aug. 22, 2001)
  147. "I appreciate this attitude so very much with President Putin." (Aug. 22, 2001)
  148. "I appreciate you bringing such nice weather." (April 30, 2001)
  149. "I appreciate what's going on here." (April 25, 2001)
  150. "I appreciate your service to the country." (April 23, 2001)
  151. "I appreciate that so very much." (April 23, 2001)
  152. "I appreciate the members of the press." (March 30, 2001)
  153. " I actually said this in New Hampshire: 'I appreciate preservation. It's what you do when you run for President, you've got to preserve.' I don't have the slightest idea what I was saying there." (March 30, 2001)
  154. "I appreciated the vote." (March 29, 2001)
  155. "I appreciate the hard work that's being done on the legislation." (March 29, 2001)