Monday, July 19, 2004

Presidential prelection

The excessive magnification of President Bush's speech problems is nothing new. But I had no idea that debonair Tony Blair was being similarly criticized -- only for excessive suaveness. He sounds fantastic but says little.

Simon Hoggart gives examples in a column for the Guardian.
Early on I began to notice the distinctive signs. One was the verbless sentence. "Hope. Opportunity. For our young people, a brighter future..." If a verb is a "doing word" as we learned in school, then these sentences contained no promise of action, but a great deal of pious intention. By 1997, and his first speech as prime minister, there were 97 sentences without verbs; by the early years of the new century the number routinely climbed to 120-plus.
Hoggart uses this example, and many more, to discuss accusation of Blair's being a liar about the Iraq war. But until he gets there, the column offers a lot of fodder for head-of-state comparisons.


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