donderdag, november 20, 2008

Complete sentences

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

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's 60 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.

(Andy Borowitz for The Huffington Post)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jaap said...

Treffend. Ter vergelijking dit fragment van James Thurber (uit 'Lanterns & Lances):
‘Another New York youngster asked me how to dedicate a book. Since I figured he would never write a book, and probably couldn’t tie his tie or shoes without help, I threw his letter away. Then I got another one from him, at once aggrieved and imperious, demanding to know how to dedicate a book. I told him.’
‘I suppose your letter was full of ironics,’ said Mrs. Quibble. […]
‘I told him he could dedicate it “To Mom,’ or ‘To Madge Mudge,” or ‘To Pop,” but I suggested that if he ever did write a book, the most fitting dedication should probably go like this: “To Miss Gorby, whom, without she had learnt me English, this book never would have been written.”
‘Nobody is as unliterate as that, and you know it,’ said Mrs. Quibble.
‘They ain’t, huh?’ I said. ‘You should see my mail, which, without I got so much of it, I might of got more written.’

4:53 p.m.  
Blogger edmund w. brand said...

1) Onlangs vroeg ik Veen of 'ie de Huffington Post kende. Wel klok, geen klepel in Veendam. Ongekend.
2) De burgemeester van Londen heeft al wat langer in de gaten dat het een pré is dat een eerste burger ook grammaticaal correct is. Zie mijn post 'Extemporising ...'
3) Viel het de 3e klassers in de smaak, de Veluwse boemel van Achterberg?

10:31 p.m.  
Blogger Frank Blaakmeer said...

3. Nou, een aantal lazen beleefd, de rest haalde de schouders op. Ik vind het prima. Ik ga het wel voorlezen vanaf overmorgen.

10:55 p.m.  
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6:29 a.m.  

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