Saturday, November 29, 2008

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 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."

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.


Ren said...

Palin's comment scares me. To think, she was almost up there acting as a leader to our nation. I didn't realize that Obama prefers to speak well. I guess I was too focused on the others who can't (or choose not to, if Palin's comment is taken literally) and I just took Obama's lack of errors to mean that he's an educated person who has good writers.

Carlos said...

It really is pretty frightening that she was that close to the top.

Check my other blog, for quotes on politics and the current administration. Pretty profound stuff. I should have them up tonight.


Hahaha! LOVE this. And I love the fact that Obama's incredibly well-spoken, despite the fact that with an intelligent President-elect in place, I have fewer things to make fun of in my blog. :)

Carlos said...

True, but both Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber have book deals in place, so all is not lost ;-)

Thanks for dropping by.

Ren said...

Oddly enough, Joe the Plumber sounds more intelligent to me than Palin. Maybe I just expect more from a "leader" than I do from an ordinary citizen.

Anonymous said...

Bush made me feel smart, that is scary that the leader of my country could do that.

Just catching up on reading ;).

Ouch, Colbert would be disappointed in me ;)

Nay, the tardest of tards