Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Obama controversy

And in breaking news just in from my friend R ...

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 tic, 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."


cristy said...

The only not-funny part about that is that for some (many?) people I am sure that it is actually fairly accurate. The whole elitist charge is so powerful over there (and here).

Pavlov's Cat said...

Too true, Cristy.

Ampersand Duck said...

That's the problem when you've been starved -- the first good meal will seem too rich.

Great post!

Feral Sparrowhawk said...

You've probably already seen it, and quite a bit is no longer relevant, but this article made a big difference to my thinking about Obama.


It really disposes of the whole "style over substance" narrative, showing how Obama's rhetorical skills actually make a difference in themselves.

My take at the time (which resolutely refuses to come back to a normal colour) is here