Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some thoughts on language.


I am now reading a book by H.W. Brands called: "Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

As long-time readers of Ad Aged know, there are few things I appreciate more than a well-turned ankle and a well-turned phrase.

This morning I saw this headline on the way to work--amidst the greatest economic crisis in perhaps 50 years or more: "Isn't it time you were moved by your coffee maker."

Switching gears from that stupidity I recalled the opening lines of Roosevelt's first fireside chat. Note the compassion, clarity and conciseness of his words.

"I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking. I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be."

Gott in Himmel! Can you imagine the same words transmuted into a Bushian or Palinian palate? Can you imagine any words more 'breakthrough' than these in their directness and simplicity?

1 comment:

bob hoffman said...

Politics and marketing have killed the simple declarative sentence.