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Ed Markey, king of wordplay

Senator Ed Markey.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe staff

Comes this week another proud inductee into the Ed Markey Wordplay Hall of Fame, on the occasion of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As its leader, Scott Pruitt would have EPA stand for Every Polluter’s Ally,” Senator Markey said in a statement. Boom, roasted. (Previously, the junior senator had suggested that, under Democrats, EPA stood for “End Petroleum Addiction.”)

Markey is renowned for a vast arsenal of puns, reconstructed acronyms, and other linguistic merriment.

Last year, regarding Comcast’s failed acquisition of Time Warner Cable: “The only competition consumer[s] would have had in their living rooms if this mega-merger had gone forward would be who handles the remote control.”


On the House floor in 2011, then-Representative Markey rolled out, “GOP used to stand for ‘Grand Old Party’, now it stands for ‘Get Old People’.” Previously, he had suggested that GOP stood for “Grandstand, Oppose, and Pretend.”

Several times, some variation of: “We have to make sure NRA stands for Not Relevant Anymore.”

And the old standby, an all-timer: “We are not just the ‘Bay State,’ we are the ‘Brain State.’ ”

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.