"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Word of the day

Most people who can't speak English can communicate pretty fluently in some other language. Maybe Sarah Palin's language difficulties aren't at all due to ineptitude or lack of education but rather that her home planet has its own English-like dialect, and to other aliens from that world, she sounds perfectly coherent. Clearly she tried to practice English extra hard for the debate but still spoke with a pretty heavy accent.

Maureen Dowd of the NY Times tries to analyze the dialect in this op-ed, "Sarah's Pompom Palaver." The problem I can see right away with this piece is that even a lot of people who aren't snowed by SP may not know what 'palaver' means, let alone the folks who think somebody's qualified potentially to lead the free world on the basis that she's cute as a bug's ear. [Palaver: (n) a. Idle chatter. b. Talk intended to charm or beguile. ]

Pretty good word for what comes out of her mouth, if a bit too polite and dignified. Here in down-home middle America we have another word or two for it.

3 comments:

April said...

This is only kind of related, but you might be interested.

Nichola Gutgold will be speaking at Chico State tomorrow night, and the presentation is open to the public / free. Most of her work currently surrounds women in politics, and my guess would be the evening's topics will include Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. The talk is at 7:30 in HOLT 170.

Announcement

wordsfromhome said...

Well, inna conversashun with a friend the other day, we were talkin' about Sarah's apparent heavy intermountain twang. Dunno where she got it, up there ina 'Laska, and we have not heard just which utensil she eats with, but we were a little concerned anyhow, both bein' college grads and all, that we need ta pay a littul more 'tension to our dikshun.
Although my friend is a semi-loyal member of the R's, we both agreed that we would prefer not to be associated with her speaking style, and are trying to clean up our speech.

George and WP said...

Rooster Cogburn often had a 'palaver' with his foes before he shot em to pieces 'cludin Lucky Ned Pepper and is gang. Some of us folk knows about palaverin. Josey Wells did palaver with that tobacky juice on them red legs boots all right.

Sarah darlin, ya just ain't ee'en up to tie'in the Marshal's harse, and ya sure as hell ain't no maverick neither. That's what I think bout ya. Git yerself back to laska!