Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"a mission of entropy and stasis"

Why do politicians talk like that? - By Anne Applebaum - Slate Magazine
...The worst offender—and this week's column is officially apolitical—is Hillary Clinton, who is "running for president because I believe if we set big goals and we work together to achieve them, we can restore the American dream today and for the next generation." Clinton also believes that "we can give people the education and opportunities they need to fulfill their God-given potentials," and that "the foundation of a strong economy is the investments we make in each other." Who could possibly disagree?
Eager to preserve the English language against a rising tide of nonsense, a British newspaper last week asked readers to compose a piece of prose "crammed with as many infuriating phrases as possible." The results make for entertaining reading.

"I hear what you're saying but, with all due respect, it's not exactly rocket science," begins one excellent example. "The bottom line is you wear your heart on your sleeve and, when all is said and done, this is all part and parcel of the ongoing bigger picture." Another declared, "[L]et's face facts here, this could so be my conduit to a whole new ball game. Awesome, or what?"

Some of the entries mocked bureaucratese... And all of them suggested an explanation for why it seems so difficult to follow the ludicrously early U.S. presidential campaign: Too many of the candidates speak in prose crammed with as many infuriating phrases as possible.

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