Friday, October 3, 2008


I was just over at the SoHum Parlance blog reading the deconstruction of yesterday's televised VP debates. Sarah Palin -- the Republican candidate from Alaska who luuuuvs to talk about enery, who would talk about energy no matter what question you ask her apparently -- Palin repeatedly pronounced the word nuclear NUKE-U-LER. For many people, myself included, this pronunciation is like fingernails on a chalkboard, chills run down our spine and we instantly disrespect the speaker.

On Eric's blog, some sage anonymous wrote: "Nuclear--the way you say it is a regional accent thing. I say it the way Palin and Bush do, which gets me much good natured (and not) ribbing in the radical circles I frequent."

Note that only "radical circles" even note the mispronunciation. Can we deduce, then, that
radical equals educated?

What is up with the proud claim that it's a regional matter? What region? I was born and raised in West Texas, and my entire family is able to pronounce the word correctly. It is less a regional matter than a literate one.

Once a person has seen the spelling and registered the discrepancy mentally, continuing to mispronounce after that is only a pretension.

Yes, it's true. People actually put on "good old boy" pretensions. Case in point: George Dubya Bush, who only spent a few preteen years in West Texas. But a down-home dialect gives lots of street cred in Texas. Lawyers, businessmen, and bankers all cultivate it because it sounds "friendly" and, ironically, unpretentious to many Texas ears.

So which is Palin: illiterate or pretentious?


pmn34 said...

Her history with pageantry would indicate pretentious. Although it is refreshing to see a woman her age, in the national spotlight that is not so angry, bitter and shrill, i.e. Hillary and Pelosi.

Heraldo Riviera said...

I disagree. Palin is quite shrill, not to mention defensive.

But in answer to the post, she's both illiterate and pretentious.

Indie said...

pmn34, I want to see a woman in office very badly. It's not like there's any shortage of intelligent, articulate, dignified women. Look at the debate moderator for instance. There are plenty of female politicians to choose from as well as politically savvy women.

Which leaves us with the question: why did McCain pick this woman from Alaska? I don't think the gender aspect was as relevant as the Alaska aspect and the Republican aspect.

I think we are smart to take particular note of that nuke-u-ler flag that Palin could not help waving incessantly during the debate. Energy is the Republican strategy, the one they have identified as being the most motivating to American voters. Americans are desperate not to have to give up their great big SUVs.

And by the way, who's driving those great big SUVs? From what I can see, it is women who are most reluctant to give up their "safe" vehicles.

This may be an inspired strategy on the Republicans' part.

Indie said...

Hi Mike.

pmn34 said...

Hey Indie

Energy isn't a bad platform these days but I doubt either candidate really cares about that issue.

Are the SUV's really safe or is it the perception? I guess these days perception is reality.

Indie, I am a man without a candidate this election so I am just sitting back and gritting my teeth. My friend, Dr. Savage says it is an easy choice, you can choose a fighter pilot who shot rockets at his enemy or a community activist who shot staples at telephone poles.

pmn34 said...

love your jpeg image

Indie said...

Whether the candidates actually care about an issue doesn't seem to to whether they choose it as a platform. Politics is an antonym for truth, isn't it? Judging from what I see when I tune in to mainstream media and from the way candidate conduct themselves.

Too bad Cato's not running. Isn't there anyone stoic enough for you? Fall of Roman Empire has a hell of a lot of parallels with contemporary situation. Do you agree?

Indie said...

"..doesn't seem to be relevant to whether..." I meant.

pmn34 said...

How is Ed Rollins for stoic?

Answer to your question about parallels, indeed there are many. Were you thinking global expansion, illegal immigration, erosion of "dignitas", government corruption?

You are a clever one Indie.

pmn34 said...


Do you believe in the Law of attraction?

Indie said...

In answer to your question, pmn34, I meant government corruption and erosion of public morality. I didn't know about the other stuff, not having really studied it.

Ernie Branscomb said...

We are all a little illiterate and pretentious, and I try not to let it distract me from the conversation.

The way someone speaks does have a lot to do with the region of the world that they are from. If someone is willing to let the way they would normally speak go, to become someone that they are not, that would be pretentious. So with Palin it would be damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

I wouldn’t discount Palin too readily. To say that she is ambitious is an understatement. She has some credibility in cleaning up corruption, lowering expenses, and producing income for Alaskans.

I don’t like her stance on pro-life, and I don’t like her shooting wolves from a helicopter. I think that it would be justice to find herself pregnant with a wolf.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Just to make it clear, I do agree with her decision to have her baby. I just don't agree that she has the right to make that decision for anyboby else!

Indie said...

Ernie, you are a dear man and brought a smile to my face with this: "We are all a little illiterate and pretentious, and I try not to let it distract me from the conversation." Isn't that the truth? Thanks for the reminder to keep it real.

Gruvr777 said...

I think that Politicians will use similar "buzz words", and other mannerisms to align themselves with their parties and other "successful" Politicians. I would not consider G.W.B. a successful President, but the Right, does. Although I think she is not the smartest, candidate? Or whatever she is? I'm sure she is surrounded by people who advise and mold her. They must hate it when she ad-lib's and shows what a moron she really is.