Monday, February 21, 2011

Don’t emulate politicians’ talk or writing (1)

Don’t emulate politicians’ talk or writing. Most politicians, most of the time, talk and write gibberish.

An example of gibberish

Here’s an example of gibberish. In a February 4 interview, Sarah Palin (pictured), the 2008 Republican candidate for U.S. Vice President, said this about U.S. President Barack Obama’s response to statements by Egyptian politicians:

It’s a difficult situation. This is that 3 a.m. White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House, it seems that that call went right to the answering machine. And nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak.

I'm not real enthused about what it is that is being done on a national level from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt and in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt, but the other countries, too, where we are seeing uprisings.

We know that, now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for, so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.

My translation

Based on guesswork, this is my translation of Ms. Palin’s comments into plain English:

Barack Obama should tell us who is going to be the next president of Egypt. Mr. Obama is managing the Middle East ineptly. A Republican could do it better.

I am not singling out Ms. Palin. As I said, most politicians talk and write gibberish. She just happened to have provided a particularly sloppy example.

The Takeaway: Politicians never shut up; they expose you to gibberish every day. Ignore them. Don’t let their gibberish seep into your writing and hinder your ability to write clearly.

See disclaimer.

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