English Language Question

Below is a transcript of comments by a well known political figure. Who is the speaker?

One guess.

“Remember, President Reagan lived that mantra trust but verify. We want to be able to trust those who are screaming for democracy there in Egypt, that it is a true sincere desire for freedoms and the challenge that we have though, is how do we verify what it is that we are being told, what it is that the American public are being fed via media, via the protestors, via the government there in Egypt in order for us to really have some sound information to make wise decisions on what our position is. Trust but verify, and try to understand is what I would hope our leaders are engaged in right now. Who’s going to fill the void? Mubarak, he’s gone, one way or the other you know, he is not going to be the leader of Egypt, that that’s a given, so now the information needs to be gathered and understood as to who it will be that fills now the void in the government. Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that or by that. Any radical Islamists, no that is not who we should be supporting and standing by, so we need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support.”


“It’s a difficult situation, this is that 3am White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House it it seems that that call went right to um the answering machine. And nobody yet has, no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.”

In a committee meeting with faculty from a number of fields, I once remarked that it was basically impossible to diagram one of this person’s sentences. Someone from outside the English department bristled and said she disagreed with me. It turns out this faculty member assumed I was attacking this person’s politics. I wasn’t. I was attacking the person’s lack of skills with English. I fear this type of conflation, confusion, and consternation is why this person remains a high profile political figure, i.e. the befuddled use and understanding of language is shared.

The answer is here.



5 Responses to “English Language Question”

  1. tzopilotl Says:

    …sarah is the case of a politician, and a republican at that, being led by
    her public and not the other way around. she needs those extra brain cells out there beyond the footlights just to finish one sentence out of ten.
    if thought be a woven thread, why sarah is a mop, full of somebody else’s spill, and needing to be wrung out often.

  2. uncommonscolds Says:

    @tzopilotl said, “[I]f thought be a woven thread, why sarah is a mop, full of somebody else’s spill, and needing to be wrung out often.”

    Nice image!


  3. tzopilotl Says:

    …as wendy/gwen/cawen was queen of the upper stone age, 45k-10k bc,
    as female deer venus, so sarah was queen of the teen canteen during high school.

  4. Lidia Says:

    The person cited is mentally ill.

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