Lula's malapropisms hit Brazilian bookstores

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The Independent Culture

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva may be one of the most popular politicians on the planet, but he also has a way of mangling his language, as a new book reviewed on Wednesday showed.

"My mother was a woman born illiterate," is just one of the choice offerings by the former shoe-shine boy turned head of state, collected in the tome by Brazilian journalist Marcelo Tas.

The recently published book is titled "Never Before in the History of This Country," borrowing one of the favorite hyperbolic sayings of Lula, whose connection to Brazil's big poor population stems in part from the linguistic shortcomings that highlight his own modest origins.

According to the daily Folha de Sao Paulo, which obtained a review copy of the work, the book is divided into 10 chapters corresponding to "professions" Lula has personified: metalworker, lawyer, actor and economist.

Under the chapter "Lula the Philosopher," Tas reports the president saying: "The government tries to do what is easy, because what is difficult is difficult."

In a swipe at the media, Lula elsewhere is quoted as saying of Brazilian footballer Ronaldo: "I know he's thin. But I read in the press that he's fat. So, in the end, is he fat or not?"