A Few Things Ill Considered

I received this via unsolicited email and thought it important analysis to share:

Stunning Break with Last Eight Years

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama’s appearance on CBS’ “Sixty Minutes” on Sunday witnessed the president-elect’s unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth. But Mr. Obama’s decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring. According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it “alienating” to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language.

“Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement,” says Mr. Logsdon. “If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist.” The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, “Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate – we get it, stop showing off.” The President-elect’s stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

“Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can’t really do there, I think needing to do that isn’t tapping into what Americans are needing also,” she said.

Comments

  1. #1 llewelly
    November 21, 2008

    How could a Muslim from Indonesia ever learn to speak English so well anyway? HUH? I’m betting he’s one of the Lizard People.

  2. #2 molinera
    November 21, 2008

    I do hope that you are writing this article with tongue in cheek. As a teacher I find it rather refreshing to have the person representing my country to speak English as it was intended to be spoken. Perhaps it will catch on and the era of dangling participles and misplaced subjects, verbs and adjectives will be in our past. The thought that speaking English correctly labels someone has an elitist causes my blood to boil. Thank you president elect Obama for not only being educated but displaying that education in your speech.

  3. #3 coby
    November 21, 2008

    Hi molinera. Yes, it is satirical : ) I agree with you, it is encouraging to have someone intelligent in the Whitehouse.

  4. #4 Mike
    November 21, 2008

    I thoroughly enjoyed the 60 Minutes interview. Both Mr & Mrs Obama acquitted themselves well both grammatically and with respect to content. They can speak AND understand. Marvelous. A fascinating future awaits us.

  5. #5 Rick Quarton
    November 22, 2008

    This post is from The Borowitz Report. Andy Borowitz puts out a daily political satire column. This was one of his better columns. He laments the end of the Republican era because with its passing went so much great material for his columns.

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