Monday, March 21, 2016

Let's be clear about this …

… The Fall and Decline of the English Language - (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Evidence of that devolution lies everywhere. On a recent Monday, for instance, the Drudge Report ran this headline: "Suspect preplanned to interrupt Dayton rally..."
You know a suspect is serious when he not only plans an interruption, but preplans it.
Ah, yes. But the phenomenon is hardly confined to Trump supporters. The ghastly use of like as a crutch is ubiquitous. And Trump may be doing nothing other than demonstrating a mastery of the vernacular. If you want to win people over, it's good to speak their language. And is the redundancy of those the author regards as his intellectual inferiors any worse than the incomprehensible jargon issuing these days from the academy? We live in a debased age, run by credentialed mediocrities.


  1. Frank,

    Amusing piece.

    As one who wrote a column for weekly newspapers, I like the noted redundancy, "annoying newspaper columnist.'

    I think you are being too kind to Trump. For someone who graduated from Wharton, he mangles the language - "I know words, I know good words" - not that his supporters care what he says, or so it seems.

    And have you read his "tweets"? He can't even spell although all of us can make a spelling error every now and again).

    I don't think it is a masterly move from Trump, I think he is just an arrogant and lazy thinker and lazy speaker.

    "That I can tell you..." to use his common expression.


  2. And Trump ends nearly every statement with, "believe me."

    I don't.

    Krauthammer said the Trump administration will have a Department of Trafficness." (Ha)

  3. Oops, as Rick Perry once said. I make my share of mistakes, like the above.

    Krauthammer said Trump's bold and undefined boasts means that he will create a "Department of Terrificness," not "Trafficness" as I wrote above in error.

    This is why I need, like all writers, a good editor, as you were to me at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    The problem with Trump is he is so arrogant that he feels he does not need an editor or anyone to correct or advise him.

    This is dangerous and foolhardy.


  4. Haha Paul, for a moment I thought he was actually going to have a Department of Trafiicness because he wants to know how much traction his Twitter posts are getting.

  5. Vikram,

    It would not surprise me...


  6. Hi Paul,
    I think the commentariat should have taken Trump seriously from the start. As he makes plain in his book, he exploited their failure to do so. One of the businesses he has done well in is show business. He knows how to play an audience, and a lot of people in his audience don't care about linguistic niceties. But a lot of Hillary's don't seem to care about those either, or the law. At present, I'm planning on sitting this one out.

  7. Frank,

    You're right. Trump is pure show biz, like a snake oil salesman.

    And Clinton, Sanders and Trump supporters don't seem to care how flawed and fake their candidates are.

    Reporters ask Trump to expand on one of his dumb or outrageous statements and he responds by denying he ever said such a thing, despite there being a video of him saying exactly that. And his supporters don't care.

    He won't releases his tax returns because he has never given anything to military veterans or cops and he is certainly not worth 10 billion as he claims, and he is not nearly as successful a business man as he claims.

    But his supporters don't care.

    The same goes for Clinton, that political whore. She should have gone away back then with the Whitewater case. She lied to a grand jury about her billable hours, but she skated.

    And Sanders will give everyone everything they need if elected and his supporters don't care about the math.

    Voters should be more and better informed than ever before due to 24-hour cable and the Internet, but a lot of people don't seem to care about facts and figures when it comes to their candidate.

    I wish it were just dumb people, but it not, as educated and otherwise intelligent people are also in this great mix.

    But it ain't over till it's over, as the saying goes.

    The "FBI primary," as Krauthammer calls it (he's a funny guy) may very well derail Clinton, and I suspect Biden is "biding" his time (not quite up to Krauthammer's humor, but I try) and he will jump in if and when she is indicted.

    And Cruz or another guy may very well derail Trump (I hope!) at the convention on the second or third ballot if Trump does not go into the convention with enough delegates.

    We shall see.


  8. Frank,

    Of course this is nothing knew. I have told about a dozen people who moan about the current state of affairs to read history. They will feel better.

    Or watch "Of Thee I Sing," the great musical by George S. Kaufman with George Gershwin music.

    The senator tells a young woman to remember 1865.

    "The Civil War?"

    "No, my room number."

    The candidate tells the political boss that he is his own man and he won't make deals.

    "We're the national committee and you will do as you're told."

    "Its a deal."

    Funny then, funny now.


  9. One more?

    The senator tells another young woman that there will be a "Miss Congeniality" award at the convention.

    "I've heard that before," she replied.

    "You lose."