"Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy"

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama’s appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday witnessed the president-elect’s unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama’s decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it “alienating” to have a president who speaks English as if it were his first language.

“Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement,” says Mr. Logsdon. “If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist.”

The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, “Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate — we get it, stop showing off.”

The president-elect’s stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

“Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can’t really do there, I think needing to do that isn’t tapping into what Americans are needing also,” she said.

Written by

Andy Borowitz

Posted November 18, 2008 | 12:47 PM (EST)

Andy Borowitz is a comedian and writer whose work appears in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and at his award-winning humor site, BorowitzReport.com.



All this AND Salon.com says that our “Commander In Chief” is one of the Sexiest Men Alive in 2008!


About girl du jour

Smart. Opinionated. Refreshingly Honest.
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3 Responses to "Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy"

  1. julianayrs says:

    Dear Girl du Jour:

    Oh, I am so glad I stumbled across your blog!
    I ran an “e-mail” I received on the Obama tick issue, but no credit was given to Andy Borowitz on the initial copy I received.
    Needless to say, I have not posted a “credit” for his work so he gets his kudos, of course!
    Kind regards!
    Julian Ayrs


  2. julianayrs says:

    Dear Girl du Jour:

    Just noticed a typo on the message I left.
    It should read: I have posted a credit!
    Thanks for taking note.
    Julian Ayrs


  3. girldujour says:


    Check this out, someone who actually thinks that this article/spoof, written by a comedian, is a real controversy:




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