A Good Party With Poetry
Readers adding value.
There's a long discussion here on whether we want elites ruling us or not. Go here to find out who's an intellectual, who an engineer, and who could run a gas station. At what might be called the far edges of the discussion: What was that again about the Labrador going to duck-collecting college? No, didn't quite get it. Lubbesuh says there are too many intellectuals, and even those with opposing political views seemed to agree.
The splendidly-named HopefulCynic had this to say—
Is it better for Americans to vote for someone they feel reflects their own worldview, or someone who is best able to do the job? It seems to me loyalty to party should come far below loyalty to country or family or duty ... somewhere around loyalty to Kellogg Brand Cereals.
—and made a convincing case. "Are Intellectuals Mean?", posted byMalone, was very popular with other readers, though mostly, it has to be said, those who agreed with him or her politically.
Posts are still pouring in on this topic, so feel free to join in. But a word of warning: you don't even want to go near the other current argument in "XX Factor" on flag mending/trampling. It's sticky and cross and long and involved. But, no—what are we saying? That would be a recommendation to most Fray posters. MR ...5.00 p.m. GMT
Friday, Oct. 10, 2008
Kitty Burns Florey's attempt to diagram Sarah Palin's sentences was a hit this week. Even before Tina Fey's dead-on impersonations brought attention to the VP candidate's tortured linguistic style, language itself was already a campaign theme, starting with Hillary's famous declaration during the primaries: "You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose." After the frequent attacks on Obama's "lofty" (and, therefore, supposedly empty) rhetoric, Sarah Palin's syntax is in some respects just the latest to come under scrutiny.
If diagramming was intended as the most neutral and objective way to decipher meaning in Palin's speech—a candidate who has elicited enormous curiosity since her introduction to the national stage in September—Ischua dismisses the diagramming exercise as "petty partisan parsing."
kaboku68, a schoolteacher from Chitina, Alaska, writes in to say that "[w]e have a different form of syntax. … Alaskans often have elements of the indigenious [sic] languages of … Alaskan Natives involved in their speaking patterns" (a claim contested vigorously by Fritz Gerlich).
For WetHen here, the debate format may have had an effect:
Moira Redmond, a former "Fray" editor at Slate, is a freelance writer living in England. You can e-mail her at email@example.com.