The Null Device

For today, and all your tomorrows

The latest Orwellian threat to democratic discourse is verbless language, à la Teflon Tony Blair:
Humphrys notes Blair's apparent fear of verbs and mocks his speeches, which are peppered with verbless phrases like "new challenges, new ideas," or "for our young people, a brighter future" and "the age of achievement, at home and abroad".
By using this technique, Humphrys says, Blair is simply evading responsibility.
"The point about verbs is that they commit the speaker," he writes. "Verbs cement sentences to their meaning so it's not surprising that politicians tend to mistrust them."

(via bOING bOING)

There are 1 comments on "For today, and all your tomorrows":

Posted by: steff http:// Thu Nov 18 22:56:13 2004

Bush's rhetorical style on the other hand relies rather heavily on BASIC (modal) verbs as indices of strong action/committment. Not that I have undertaken any analysis of his speeches, but the impression is one of an emphatic rhetoric of invocation with the verb "will" everpresent. Please disagree or add to this. cheers

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