Thursday, November 20, 2008

obama's use of complete sentences stirs controversy

From Andy Borowitz:
NOVEMBER 18, 2008

Obama’s Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy
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.


bryan said...

To top it off, that statement attributed to Palin is literally indistinguishable from her actual pronouncements.

It takes heroic cleverness to parody Palin in a way that goes perceptibly beyond her own self-parody.

Matt DeBlass said...

I was thinking how great it will be that my daughter, now eight, will grow up thinking there's nothing unusual about a black man or a woman being president.

Then I thought a little more and realized that by the time she reaches Junior High, she'll have grown up with the idea that a president who actually speaks in sentences is not unusual. Just for that I'm happy he got elected.