October 5th, 2009


George Will is wrong [on the internet]

that's not news, really. please forgive this post: it's kind of unfocused; it just stuns me that writing like Will's (in the piece mentioned here) is considered national level discourse. I swear, the entire editorial staff of my high-school paper were better writers when I was there, and without looking I am fairly sure that's still true, sixteen years later.

but after reading Gin and Tacos' spectacular flensing of Will's latest article criticizing the Obamas' speeches to the IOC, I had to join in a little. Go read G&T's dismemberment of the Will bloviation.

the pointless jabs at Silicon Valley software writers are particularly silly (especially since many of those Valley engineers are the 30% in our district who *didn't* vote for Obama in the election); here's Will:

Surely the Valley could continue its service to him by designing software for his speechwriters’ computers that would delete those personal pronouns, replacing them with the word “sauerkraut” to underscore the antic nature of their excessive appearances.
Nevertheless, I'm one of them (and I did vote for Obama) but I'd love to see George Will's own bloviating sauerkrautified.

I imagine the snippy language/statistics nerds at Language Log (I'm also a computational linguist) would have a lot to say about Will's poor use of statistics there (if Will manages to avoid the first person himself, it's more a mark of his own willingness to reach for the most ridiculous Safiric pompous register than the mark of good speeches).

also, can we PLEASE declare a unilateral moratorium on the use of Willian yoda-isms like "Unhappy will be a president whose defining adjective is “vain.” " PLEASE.