Tuesday, March 15, 2016

John McWhorter — Trump Is Extremely Articulate—That’s Why He’s So Dangerous

Simple language makes his racist biases go down easier.

(Time Magazine)

Donald Trump seems almost deliberately designed as a nightmare figure to turn an American election upside down, for two main reasons. One of them, believe it or not, is that he is extremely articulate. Oh, not in the conventional way. As Dana Milbank has noted, often Trump speaks on a level that testing identifies as comprehensible to a second-grader. However, this essentially means that Trump is the most colloquial of our current crop of candidates, and the colloquialism can be quite the narcotic on the stump.

The difference between casual speech and writing can be vaster than we tend to think. The two are almost different languages at times. Talking is all about short sentences and sprinkled interjections. Even an educated person’s typical sentence gets no longer than nine or 10 words. Talking—as in, just talking—is subjective rather than objective the way writing often tries to be. Casual talk involves a great deal of repetition: rare is the person who says everything just once in animated conversation. Then, casual talk makes single points, not extended arguments.

Read the full article HERE