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Old 11-28-2004, 03:14 PM   #1
Ace_NoOne
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Question George W. Bush: pivotal campaign speeches?

Hello there,

being a non-U.S. citizen, news coverage of the recent presidential election was of a rather general nature over here. However, I need to know which of George W. Bush's campaign speeches were considered pivotal, or at least important enough to deserve further (linguistic) analysis.
I'd be very grateful if anyone could help me on this. (Maybe some of you even know of some articles analyzing George W. Bush's speeches from a linguistic point of view?)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:04 PM   #2
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Bush? Linguistic? Your kidding, right?
This must be a school assignment. Bush only communicates in 10 second sound bites so good luck with this one.
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:03 AM   #3
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Is your native language English? From your post, it appears that you are fluent in English, if not a native speaker. Bush's command of English is a joke. He made no speeches that swept Americans off their feet by his eloquence and command of language. If you wish to make a linguistic study of Bush's words, it would be a study of how NOT to use the English language, rather than how to speak it well. If you are wondering why Bush won, I can give you 4 words - ignorance, fear, and religous bigotry.

Last edited by marichiko; 11-29-2004 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:57 AM   #4
Ace_NoOne
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Hehe, I know Bush's verbal capabilities are ... limited. But doesn't that make him even more interesting for a linguistic analysis?! And yes, it's for uni, but I chose the topic myself, so ...

I'm not a native English speaker, by the way, but thanks for the compliment!
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:31 AM   #5
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I'd be interested in finding out when he started using the Texas accent. His brother has just the barest hint of a southern accent. I suppose Neil could have dumped his accent but... Maybe one of our Texans could tell us if the Bush accent rings true?
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Old 11-29-2004, 07:02 AM   #6
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He's always had it, as far as I can recall. His blonde daughter (Jenna) DEFINITELY has it, the brunette (Barbara) much less so.

Pretty much all our governors have a pretty strong twang. It makes them more "authentic." Then again, substantial portions of our population have it too, so maybe it does.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:17 AM   #7
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The linguistic analysis of any Bush speech will find that his down-home delivery and lack of difficult words is reassuring and likeable to the majority of the electorate.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:53 AM   #8
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I can't tell you how reassured and warm and fuzzy the following statements by our fearful leader make me feel:

"If a person doesn't have the capacity that we all
want that person to have, I suspect hope is in the
far distant future, if at all." (speaking to a group of handicapped Americans)

"This administration is doing everything we can to end
the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right
decisions to bring the solution to an end."

"Redefining the role of the United States from enablers
to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace
from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment."

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough
power-generating plants and then not enough
power to power the power of generating plants."

There are zillions more equally reassuring statements that Junior has made.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:11 AM   #9
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Yes, but for the most part Bush understands the principle meaning behind the statement but fails to eloquently communicate it.

That's different from the isolated comments of Dan Quayle. Quayle would try to make an intellectual statement but didn't understand what he was actually trying to say.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Yes, but for the most part Bush understands the principle meaning behind the statement but fails to eloquently communicate it.
I'm not sure that I agree with that. If that were truly the case then I believe that he would have learned to express himself by now.

He's the president of the United States but he sounds like an idiot.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Yes, but for the most part Bush understands the principle meaning behind the statement but fails to eloquently communicate it.

That's different from the isolated comments of Dan Quayle. Quayle would try to make an intellectual statement but didn't understand what he was actually trying to say.
How do we know he understands it when he can't express that knowledge to us? He could just be pulling stuff out of his ass for all we know. Dan Quayle was a true idiot; I don't think Bush is that much smarter.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:44 AM   #12
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I attended a conference at which my segment presenter was from Midland, TX.

Midland, TX is famous for two things. It's the town where that little girl fell down the well ... (Baby Jessica).

And it's where GWB is from.

His accent, while softened, does match the rather thick, sometimes comical accent of my presenter.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:55 AM   #13
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Read them and see - if they were being spoken to you they would come across differently, but you wouldn't necessarily stop and wonder what the hell in context. You'd kinda-sorta get it, which is the goal of that TYPE of communication, and you'd both move on. They're the explanations of someone who was told what the deal was, and then stated it in his own way. Compare and contrast to a Quayleism:

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." - D. Quayle

Now THAT'S just someone dumb trying vainly to make an intellectual statement...
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
You'd kinda-sorta get it, which is the goal of that TYPE of communication, and you'd both move on. They're the explanations of someone who was told what the deal was, and then stated it in his own way.
I get your point, but the quotes listed above by Mari don't make a whole lot of sense to me. And how do you explain his mispronunciation of words (i.e. the infamous "nuke-u-lar") and his use of words that don't exist in any dictionary? Shouldn't someone that intelligent have a better grasp of the English language?

I just have a hard time believing that GWB is doing any of this stuff on purpose to make himself look like "one of us." The guy has a huge ego (as does every President we've had) and I can't believe that he would sacrifice the appearance of being an intellectual for that good ol' boy sort of "charm."
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:20 AM   #15
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It would be nice if we could get the quotes in context, but googling for bush speech "california crunch", the first 50 links are collections of Bushisms. Then it turns out the original is from the NYT January 2001, which means that if we had the original, we wouldn't get it in context anyway.

I think he's truly ineloquent, not faking it - except for not correcting "nuke-u-lar", I think they leave that in on purpose. And although it hurts America by making it hard for Bush to be a true leader, there are no perfect people available to lead us.
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