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Friday, October 3. 2008
My notes on the Palin-Biden debate.
By The Numbers
(*you'd better hope they're lies — because the only alternative is that these people are extremely stupid)
Palin Colloquialism Breakdown
See Appendix C for etymological references, Appendix D for translation tables.
I think the pundits will call it a draw, with a leaning toward Sarah because she didn't make any major gaffes (that I heard). They both stumbled over a few words, both had their fair share of 'uhs', and, most importantly for Sarah, there weren't any deer-in-the-headlight moments. She made sure to say aloud something like "I have to correct you, Joe" a few times, just to make sure the teacher-student label didn't get slapped on the event, another smart move by Team Sarah.
I think umpteen zillion women tuned in, maybe just for a few moments, and saw what they wanted and needed to see. It made what they'll have to do November 4th a lot less painful.
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There were times where Biden looked like a demon. It might have been the lighting, but there were certain angles that made his eyebrows to his temples seem like a line of darkness that just looked bad. Also, his voice did get shrill in the middle of the debate. He was getting excited / annoyed.
Also, on several points, Palin said basically "There you go, looking into the past for blame. What we need to do is look into the future for solutions."
I wonder how the gay voters will react to a Democratic ticket that doesn't support "Gay Marriage". That was a shocker.
All things considered, I thought the moderator did a great job.
From a participant perspective, it appeared that Joe was treating this as a "I've gotta do this to get the job." and Sarah was treating this as a "I get to do this too!".
I really thought the times that she pointed out that Joe was against / for something before he was selected as VP were well done. She didn't belabor those points, but she did bring it up.
I thought the part where she went off about education was out of the blue. I don't think there was a question that related to it.
I also recall that the beginning of the debate was scatter-shot. They were addressing the second question, then going back and adding on to the first question. It was a complicated part, but I enjoyed it. For the most part, they actually addressed the questions asked. (There were some topics where they acknowledged the question, then went directly to their talking points.) But again, the moderator wasn't being a jerk. She put the points up there and let them debate.
I've always said it that way. I also pronounce "Paris" with a short-i-then-s sound, and I say "Japan" rather than "Nippon". I guess I'm just a rube.
Here's my quick take:
I desperately wanted to text dear Sarah (could have pulled it off, couldn't we?) to tell her to tie in the unholy, greedy alliance between Wall St investment bankers AND the Democrat Congress in the form of their support for Obama, the Fannie/Freddie fiasco, Democrats including Obama, Dodd, and Frank being biggest recipients of Fannie/Freddie contributions, and the incestuous cesspool it created, while McCain sponsored legislation to rein the abuses. Why does the McCain Campaign avoid this? Krauthammer also pointed out this glaring omission in the spin room following.
I thought Joe Biden was the perfect gentleman and actually was getting a kick out of Sarah performance, too, which was shown in his reaction shots when she was speaking; Joe knows how to play to the crowd and can turn on the charm with the best of them, so he gets an "A" for his efforts. But winning a debate on the telly takes much more than winning on debate points, it is style that counts.
And I really don't think it is Joe Biden's burning ambition to be V.P., does anyone? He looked bored at times, thinking "This is what I've spent 35 years in the Senate to do, to debate this very personable, likable lady from Alaska?" Joe hit his marks like the old pro that he is but in one of those bored moments he almost seemed to be thinking.... how could I wangle an invitation to Alaska to try snowmobiling with the First Dude?!
Near the end, Sarah reprised Reagan's immortal line to Jimmy Carter (or was it Mondale?): "There you go again, Joe" when he bashed Bush for the umpteenth time. Even Joe laughed at that line from the little lady. Gwen Ifill was on her very best behavior, having been neutralized at the start by the flap over her book. The format turned out to be very favorable to Sarah and she played her hand well. Point for Team McCain.
I did get an early laugh when Joe committed us to end the genocide in Bosnia.
I also think it would have been a great shot at Joe's flip-flopping to offer him the VP spot on the Republican ticket. Something like;
"Geeze Joe, you and I are so close on some topics that if I were running for President on the Republican ticket, I might invite you to be my running mate!"
-- That would really get the Dems in a dunder.
(And we all know that most of the Repubs are farther left than most conservatives would like, so it isn't that much of a stretch.)
Yay. Good thread. Doc, I watched real hard to hear how she pronounced 'nuclear', and got so antsy about it, I had to turn off my ears each time. My god why don't people know how to pronounce "Iraq" and "Iran"? It drives me nuts and make us look like yeehaws when we say "EYE rack" and "EYE ran". One of my favorite parts was in the first three seconds when Palin popped out with, "Can I call you 'Joe'?" I laughed out loud. I also agree that they liked each other and that was nicely portrayed in the gathering of their families chatting away after the debate. Biden's constant references to Bush were sickening as were his lies and/or avoidance of true facts about what Obama did or didn't do. I, too, went kind of crazy when Palin kept pointing to Wall St. as the problem instead of taking on the real cause of this debacle, but I think it was wise to leave it for McCain as he is the one involved in an on-going situation. It is fodder for McCain and last night was too short of a time to really drive it home. I think the McCain has big plans for bringing that out later. The Darfur thing? Gratuitous - pick any country south of the Sahara why doncha? I think Biden is exhausted, and I agree with whoever said he might have been wondering what he was doing up on that stage. I truly believe he does not care much for Obama. His facial expresssions - terrific smile, but he's had his brow Botoxed and whoever did it, should have also Botoxed the outer edges of his brow because the muscles pulled up there and gave him that sinister look. Palin lost, or was trained out of, scrunching her nose and gesticulating with finger pointing and that stupid thumbs-up sign, so she looked much better than at the convention.
Let's chat with Eyeran!!! What goobers..... :)
I've been searching for correction, but even the elitists seem to say eyerack and newcewlur (when you can understand them at all.
Why are regional dialects important?
Regional dialects are not important.
What is important is pronouncing word correctly. That has nothing to do with region or accents or colloquialisms.
pronouncing word correctly? A rather unusual turn of phrase, no?
Excellent comments, all -- like usual.
Bob - I love her accent, too. Being a Far Westerner (CA), I drop a lot of my g's ("doin'", "tryin'", etc) as well, so she sounds perfectly normal to me!
Jon - Good point about the way Sarah would occasionally frame things in a past/future syntax, implying Biden was the dinosaur and Palin was the future without having to say it in so many words. That's stealing the word "change" right out of Obama's mouth.
Greenie - I think you're right about Biden truly enjoying being up there with Sarah, regardless of the circumstances. After all the craggy old Diane Feinsteins he has to deal with in the Senate, last night probably bordered on the surreal.
Meta - That was an astute observation about Palin leaving the grunt work of economic debate to John, and I'd write that section a little differently if I were doing it over. Wouldn't it have been refreshing if Sarah had said,
"Well, Gwen, I'm going to defer to John on this one. Subprime economics are one of his specialties and I think a question of this complexity should be answered by an expert. As a wise old politician once said, this question is above my pay grade."
Larry - There's a difference between dialect, and flat-out mispronouncing a word. "Sim-u-lar" is also incorrect, although a lot of people do it, ditto "re-la-tor." That's not dialect, that's just an inability to change oneself when one learns better.
As far as "Eye-rack" goes, that, indeed, is dialect, and millions of people pronounce it that way. But, as Meta points out, it still makes us sound like yahoos and goobers to the outside world. There's no helping that; culture is culture and it has its little rules.
Well, as anyone could have predicted, this morning all of the right-wing bloggers declared it a major victory for Sarah, and the MSM, polls and Lefties handed it to Biden.
I, as you all know, am taking a different tack and all I wanted was for American women to see five minutes of a bright, intelligent gal, just enough that they'll be reassured that they're doing the right thing when they hoist the feminine flag on Nov. 4, there in the privacy of the voting booth.
P.S. An elite pronouncing Iran as Eyeran and Iraq as Eyeraq and nuclear as newkewlar immediately turns them into Goobers.
Language is important. That's why I purposefully left the 's' off 'word' in 9.1. Just to get your atttention.
"That's why I purposefully left the 's' off 'word' in 9.1. Just to get your atttention."
You're a wily one, you are. :)
Oh! hahahahahahahaha............... hahaha.... TOO funny! :)
(I only did that to see if you'd catch it. tee hee.)
Well I hate be busting bubbles, but differences in pronunciation, syntax, and grammar are what define dialects.
It might surprise some of you folks in the north east that what you say is just plan incomprehensible to some of us that speak standard endlish, pronouncing "r"s when they occur, and not pronouncing them the rest of the time, just for an example.
And I will have to say that if verbal tics and regional dialects is all youve got, y'all aint got nothin.
Nothin at all. Zero. Zip. Nada.
You're not out, Larry. You're a Goober. It doesn't matter if you're a hillbilly from the Appalachians, a Charleston southerner, a midwestern cool person, or a damn Yankee - where, by the way, Noah Webster was from - you still have to stick by the rules of proper pronounciation in order not to be a Goober. And while I'm at it - what does being elite have to do with anything except self-admiration which has little to do with how one speaks.
Here's a grammar error you made, by the way:
"you say is just plan incomprehensible to some of us that speak standard endlish,"
The 'that' should be 'who'. -10 And, typo notwithstanding, 'English' is ALWAYS capitalized. -10
Just having finished Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue" I think it's fair to say if the meaning gets through you're talkin' proper like.
“I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I really meant.”
Oh, man... I love Bill Bryson. I've listened to about four of his books on CD. He is one cool guy and delightful to listen to because it's obvious he really loves what he's doing.
Here's something to think about, Goober Sheldon: The one time in your life when language may be the most important issue for you is during a job interview. Few realize that their prospects for getting the job are determined in the first three minutes of the interview. The initial impact is your dress, handshake, and your composure. They blend instantaneously in the first thirty seconds. If you don't know how to shake a hand and make eye-contact, you're out. After that, everything is contingent on how you speak. You may be a wizard with whatever qualifications you offer on your resume, but if you cannot speak correctly, you won't get the job.
I knew a shrink once who maintained he could determine a person's I.Q. in thirty minutes based solely on how that person spoke, vocabulary usage, and the fluidity with which they used that vocabulary. Read between the lines and note that the rules of grammar and proper pronounciation are there.
We could have a two-day discussion about which speakers we like and which we cannot bear to listen to. I personally believe one reason Bush is so hated is that he is a terrible speaker. Most Bush haters wouldn't note that that is one reason they hate him, but it is. Obama gags me with his three-word phraseology. etc., etc.
Language matters. And every aspect of language matters.
I have a theory, well-founded in experience, that a person who resorts to ad hominem arguments with a person he does not know from Adam's off ox has not said any thing worth hearing, in fact, and will in all probablity not say anything worth listening-to in the future.
So I stopped reading at "Goober Sheldon".
Oh, Goob.... you're full of little red commas. I know you read every word. Your ego demanded it.
Your theory is the filter of your facts? And one of those facts is that you 'cannot' or 'refuse' to learn anything from a stranger?
Want me to grade your comment beyond its context? :)
Ya know... for language?
Good on ya, Phil. Nice to see you read it all the way through. What are ya....some kind of masochist?
Look, unless you pronounce "Iraq" exactly like the Iraqis do, shut up about it. Their word for us, by the way, is something along the lines of "amriki."