February 16th, 2008

ozarque figure

Linguistics; political language; body language...

For English, body language [nonverbal communication] really matters; it's critical. Which brings me to the following question:

Why on earth doesn't somebody on Hillary Clinton's campaign staff tell her that she absolutely has to stop doing that bit of bodyparl where she says something and then starts nodding her head .... "yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, what I said, yes, yes, yes, yes"... over and over again? And that she also has to stop doing that same gesture when she's on the stage and somebody else is talking?

I don't believe Senator Clinton is actually smug and self-righteous and prissy. But that gesture -- in my opinion, mind, and not based on any tightly-controlled double-blind research studies -- just shouts smugness and self-righteousness and prissiness. It's all wrong, it's rhetorically crippling, and I wish she would give it up forevermore.

Nonfiction online: "How Verbal Self-Defense Works" at http://people.howstuffworks.com/vsd.htm ; "Why Are Old Women Older Than Old Men And How Can We Fix That?" at http://www.seniorwomen.com/articles/articlesElginOld.html ; Religious Language Newsletter archive at http://www.forlovingkindness.org ; Fiction online: "We Have Always Spoken Panglish" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/Story-Panglish.html ; "What The EPA Don't Know Won't Hurt Them" at http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/epa.htm ; "Weather Bulletin" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/Weather.html ; "A Quorum Of Grandmothers" at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/QuorumOfGrandmothers.html ; The Communipaths at http://www.jackiepowers.com/SuzetteHadenElgin/TheCommunipaths.html . More stuff at http://www.sfwa.org/members/elgin/SiteMap.html ; LiveJournal blog index at http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=ozarque .
ozarque figure

Recommended link; political language and charisma...

Chances are you've all already seen and enjoyed this -- but I want to mention it here, just in case: "False economies and either-ors," by Elise Matthesen, at http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009941.html#009941 -- with 275 comments. All about political rhetoric and charisma, and reactions to political rhetoric and charisma, anchored around Barack Obama. I am particularly struck by the hypothesis that if you're swayed by a speaker's charisma and powerful rhetoric, that's evidence of some sort of character flaw -- that you should have the ability to resist the power of language and nonverbal communication, and the power to judge the speech you're hearing/seeing/feeling on the basis of nothing but dispassionate logical analysis.