Friday, October 3, 2008

Did Last Night's Vice Presidential Debate Provoke a Worldwide Crisis?

Reuters: London, England.
World English teachers today issued a multinational press release announcing that there is a sudden global shortage of the word “also” that is threatening the ability for people all over the world to make additions in sentences as a form of communication. Professor Ian Shellington, Professor Emeritus, Oxford University detailed this sudden shortage of the adverb today in an interview with Katie Couric. “This is a sudden and complete depletion of a very valuable resource in our ability to communicate with one another,” detailed Shellington. “It would appear that this is a very severe loss that has halted overnight communication in such things as email.”

John Soucer, a football coach in the Laffey-Bristol League described how this has impacted his ability to live a normal life. “Me and some mates were returning from Cracker’s Pub last night and I was going to post some of me exploits on me blog, when I was unable to one up some bloke from Stilton. His posts are usually cheesy and they stink, but he’s always bragging. I found an distinct and dreaded inability to one up him due to my shortage of , y’know, that word.” Bollocks! What’s a bloke to do if we can’t brag about our knitting??!

Closer to home Mitzi Smith-Hurst, spokeswoman for the American Teachers Association blamed the shortage on No Child Left Behind. “This is what happens when schools and teachers are under funded by the present administration. If we had more money, we’d have more language. It’s as simple as that.”

Speculation over the shortage has reached immediate consensus. Overwhelmingly the overnight news agencies have pointed to the overuse of the word during last night’s debate by Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in her one and one half hour debate with Democratic nominee Sen. Joseph Biden of Pennsylvania, and until recently, Delaware. Tom Brokaw, NBC icon stated that, while he didn’t usually pick winners and losers in these debates, she was the clear winner in use of the “A” word. Researchers at said that it hampered their ability to research facts used by the Governor. Researcher Derek Bloggonanon said, “Jees, we kept looking up statements because, you know, we are supposed to look these things up in real time. But we would start to look this stuff up and then she would add something else and pretty soon our computers were slower than assistance to New Orleans. It really hurt us.” The Presidential Debate Commission could not confirm or deny this as the source of the language crisis. Mimi Langdorf, spokesperson for the Commission said they keep count on many things, but not on language use. “Quite frankly, Langdorf said,” We haven’t run across anything quite like this since Ross Perot’s use of the word “Get”. The Commission did point to notes taken from the podium as possible proof that Palin did, indeed, precipitate this crisis. Ms Langdorf stated, “You may notice during debates that candidates will make notes for their use. We do keep the notes from the podiums in our archives as part of the Presidential debate collection in Windage, Minnesota, proposed home of the Presidential Debate Commission Museum and Gift Shop. On Governor Palin’s sheet, the word in question was scribbled one hundred and seventeen times. The only other notes were “wink, wink”, and “Make sure they flew in the moose meat for Todd’s dinner.”

Fox News had immediate overnight special programming on this issue with commentators ridiculing the press’ reporting of this story. “What a bunch of cry babies,” noted newsman Ron Huntsman, “This is from the elite eastern press corps who can’t seem to lower themselves to use the word ‘too’. For crying out loud, get over it.”

The White House issued a statement that it was studying the situation and would look to release more language from the federal language reserve. This would mark the first time in the eight years of the Bush Presidency that an expansion of language has been allowed. In the meantime, White House advisors, after an early morning meeting, have asked that people remain confident in our English Language. “Our Languages is strong,” President Bush said after being told of the early morning meeting. Advisors have advised that the language shortage is temporary and should abate as soon as Palin is placed back into isolation and away from the press corps. In the meantime, they have asked the general public to use the words “besides”, “likewise”, and the phrase “as well” until normalcy returns to the United States.

In related news, overnight markets were down substantially upon learning of this latest shortage, oil prices rose to over $100.00 per barrel, and Pubster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, the largest of the wordsmiths in the US has asked Congress to consider a $150 million fiscal package to allow them to recapitalize the word market.


greg said...

Watch out. Speaking English in a grammatically correct manner will get you labeled an elitist.

Southview said...

Not to wory.....Only the language elitist speak in the tong of of the grammatically correct anymore. It is a subject taught in schools but has little impact in the real world...unless you are trying to make yourself sound like something your not. It has takin it's place along side other elitist babbler languages like Latin.

The movement to make Spanish the "Official Language" is gaining momentum and also the only official spoken word allowed to be used in broadcasting the news. So makin moot the whole argument.

dan bosley said...

Using the word "also" made her sound like a junior debater on the high school team. It is not so much the language but a sign of how her mind was working trying to answer questions. It was as if she was trying to jam a lot of little thoughts into the 90 seconds in order to impress the audience on her knowledge.
I have debated and spoke quite a bit in the 22 years I have been in office, I probably noticed it more, and to me it just seemed like her answers were scattered as she tried to use the quantity of points she was making instead of quality. That left her lurching from a tidbit of an answer to another. Sometimes the points connected were unrelated.
Many debaters think that if they are quiet, collecting their thoughts, that this is a bad thing. After being asked a question, they think that silence indicates an ignorance over the question. However, sometimes the best thing you can do is stay silent. It gives a dramatic pause that focuses the attention of those listening and gives you time to collect your thoughts for a more cogent answer. I am not talking about a minute or two pause, but five to ten seconds. Lastly, remember the old admonition: I would rather keep my mouth shut and have people think me a fool rather than open it and confirm the opinion.
Comprende, mi amigo??!

Southview said...

Dan that's not nice. Also, remember that old admonition: "people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!" And also "Those of you without sin cast the first stone". Hmmm...Seems that I have found one of your "buttons" mi amigo?

But to continue the diatribe along more civil lines of thought.....

Palin's attempt to look "down home on the farm" really didn't come across. Her attempt to associate McCain and herself with "Joe six pack" came across as disingenuous at best. I suppose that if you ignore the question being asked and just babble about something, pretending to be knowledgeable and coherent without any substance to the words, you can get by. that how it's done?

dan bosley said...

Pretty much, Jack, If you say something with enough authority, someone will believe you...or if you keep saying something repeatedly, eventually others start to say, "I hear" and repeat it.
Take, "I can see Russia from here." The first time I heard that Palin was qualified to be President because she handled the Alaskan National Guard and Russia is just across a small strip of water, I thought that that answer was ludicrous. However, then I heard every Republican spin master state it like it was the truth and I know that some people have bought into it. I leave it up to others to figure out whether she is qualified to be V.P., but it is not because her state abuts Russia. Texas abuts Mexico, but look at Pres. Bush foreign policy.

Push my buttons? No, The last line was meant as a little humor regarding your comments, nothing more.
And the fool comment was meant as a lesson on debating, not on Palin herself. Again, her performance will be judged by everyone through their own prism.