It's your language. You use it every day. You should strive to master it. My late mother, a 27-year, graduate-level professor of English, embedded that in my brain once upon a time. I’m not nearly as smart as she was, but I’m sharp enough to recognize that the vast majority of native-born Americans can’t speak or write English worth a lick.
Transcript from a Donald Trump speech. Speech? Is that what this is? Wow...
"Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us."
Here's another one if you're a glutton for punishment...
I've been watching CBS News Up to the Minute in my hotel room for the past four days...
The cadence and diction of of Anne Marie Green's speech as she does the news in the early mornings is driving me positively batty. I hate it,but can't seem to change channels for 15 or so minutes. Ms. Green's stress on words and syllables is often so poorly placed that it's not clear what the point of a particular sentence is until the context of the story is clear.
It's astounding to me that broadcasters are paying people to read news when they clearly don't have a mastery of speech and reading.
She's not alone in her poor reading habits. The Fallacy of Ambiguity is everywhere. I need to start a list of poor news readers and narrators.
This morning the Today Show was doing a piece on a college athlete who was found dead in a dumpster. Host Matt Lauer said, "...was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound."
I'm thinking the stress should have been on the word gunshot. Placing it on the word wound implies that Lauer was letting viewers know it was a gunshot wound as opposed to a gunshot manicure when he should have been stressing that it was a gunshot wound, not a harpoon wound.