[xmca] Presidential Syntax a Shock

From: <cconnery who-is-at ithaca.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 19 2008 - 16:03:28 PST

Hi all,
Thought you'd enjoy the article below.

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

Stunning Break with Last Eight Years


Andy Borowitz

Huffington Post

November 18, 2008


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.



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Received on Wed Nov 19 16:08:01 2008

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