Tag: politicians

Musk affirms painful truth about President Puppet

Whose words, ideas, and, most importantly, policy decisions are we hearing when the President speaks? They almost certainly aren’t his.

 What orators lack in depth, they make up to you in length

Montesquieu, 1767

Here comes the orator, with his flood of words and his drop of reason.

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1735

Now that Elon Musk has dared to say what everyone, including  Dr. Jill (who really wanted to be First Lady and talks about when “we” won)  already knows…and to suggest that the President is bereft of ideas or original thought…the “empty suit” accusation now has a much louder amplifier, and I thank Elon for having the courage to utter the unutterable.  Read more at https://www.language-expert.net/now-president-zero-the-final-devolution-of-presidential-rhetoric/

The real pronoun problem: political “we”

Political speech is full of lies, euphemisms, deceptions, and nonsense, with words large and small. One of the most deceptive small words is political “we.”

 

Pronouns, considering that they comprise only a short list of words, are one of the most fascinating aspects of English grammar.  All of them have multiple meanings, and there’s a lot of room for fuzzy interpretation and language deception.

Let’s focus on “we.”

It can mean ‘you (singular or plural) and I,’ but nobody else.  Or ‘you and I and (un)named) others.’  Or ’I and one or more others, but not you.’

Not “chain of command” – but “pyramid of obedience”

"Pyramid of obedience": a better metaphor than "chain of command"

Bad decisions flow downward and outward in the organizational pyramid, spreading bad ideas through obedience and the suppression of cognitive dissonance.

 

“A wise man changes his mind, but a fool never.”

Arabic proverb

“Unadvised hasty judgment is a token apparent of a very slender wit.”

Anne Askew, 1520-46

America’s chaotic and humiliating exit from Afghanistan did not just happen.  Human decisions instigated and implemented it.  But the key question, if we are ever to hold anyone responsible for this disaster, if anyone is to be tried and convicted of crimes against humanity (in America? forget it: Dubya, Rumsfeld and Cheney should be in jail for life), we have to find out who.

The difference between code-switching and pandering (pay attention, Hillary)

Be yourself.

“…style is intrinsic and private, like…voice or gesture, partly a matter of inheritance, partly of cultivation.  It is more than a pattern of expression.  It is the pattern of the soul.”

-Maurice Valency

Think of language as haberdashery: you have a closet full of clothes for every occasion. Your clothing choice expresses yourself in a particular context, for a particular audience.  In the same way, barely aware of it (or not aware at all), you change your speech to what you think (though there are no conscious thinking processes) will be effective for a particular situation and audience.

Political language 2019: simpler but no less devious

Political speech – simpler, but no less devious

Definitions of “politician”:

An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared.

Ambrose Bierce

(One who) divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.  That means he knows only one class: enemies.

Friedrich Nietzsche

[Someone] who identifies the sound of his own voice with the infallible voice of the public.

Joseph K. Howard

A set of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people and who…are, taken as a mass, at least one step removed from honest men.