Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Understanding Palin, Everett, and Lincoln by their words

Matt Lauer on Today interviewed Sarah Palin this morning. Palin jabbed at her usual targets, using her pet phrase "go rogue" and more cliches than I could count. This time she added a new catch-phrase, calling the press the 'lamestream media.' Another Palin-ism to be tweeted around the world.

Time for me to use the remote.

I flipped to the History Channel, to a program about the aftermath of the Battle at Gettysburg and the creation of the national cemetery there. It seems that, at the dedication ceremony, the main orator was Edward Everett, former president of Harvard and a respected politician. Everett spoke for two hours - two hours!- delivering an eloquent speech. If his audience was anything like us, his points were forgotten in a communal stupor. Next speaker up, President Abraham Lincoln. He faced his probably glassy-eyed audience and delivered his two-page, two minute long Gettysburg Address, capturing the essence of the sacrifice given by the soldiers at Gettysburg and reiterating the importance of holding true to America as one nation.

The contrasting styles weren't lost on me. Palin's cheeky attempts to create buzz words, Everett forgotten diatribe, and Lincoln's succinct, insightful, and memorable words are writing lessons of the nth degree.

No comments:

Post a Comment