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“Make No Mistake” — Obama’s Favorite Buzzwords

March 28th, 2011
You Don’t Say
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Make no mistake —  Obama is a big fan of his own catchphrases

BY ANTHONY DECEGLIE AND JENNY MERKINMONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

Statistics gathered by the Global Language Monitor reveal that Obama has said it 2,924 times since he was sworn into office more than two years ago.

Other signature Obama sayings include Here’s the deal (1,450 times) and Let me be clear, (1,066 times).

In a nod to the tough financial times he has faced, the president’s fifth most popular motto is It will not be easy.

Obamas reheated rhetoric has recently come under fresh scrutiny. Parts of his speech warning Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to honor the United Nations cease-fire pact were strikingly similar to the words spoken by President George W. Bush when he launched military strikes in Afghanistan.

Our goal is focused. Our cause is just. And our coalition is strong.” Obama said. Bush, nearly a decade earlier,  Your mission is defined. Your objectives are clear. Your goal is just.”

Make no mistake, The Daily is hoping Obama lifts his creative game and ‘wins the future’ (another rhetorical crutch) when it comes to this public speaking deal. Although we understand it will not be easy.

Scale of Top Sayings (Source: The Global Language Monitor, as of March 25)

#1 Make no mistake — 2,924 times

#2 Win the future — 1,861 times; (9 times in his 2011 State of the Union address)

#3 Here’s the deal — - 1,450 times

$4 Let me be clear — 1,066 times

#5 It will not be easy — 1,059 times

 




 

The Narrative: Top Political Buzzword for Midterm Elections

Austin, Texas, April 5, 2010 — “The Narrative’ is the Top Political Buzzword for the upcoming election cycle, according to a global Internet and media analysis by Austin-based Global Language MonitorGLM has been monitoring political buzzwords since 2003.

Read about The Narrative in Congressional Quarterly’s Political Wire.

“The Narrative” is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media.  The current ‘sense’ of the ancient phrase is being used as the main stream of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible.

Current examples include:

  • Barack Obama, US president, has lost control of the political narrative …” Financial Times, Feb 15.
  • The Start of a New Obama Narrative” (Huffington Post, March 26)
  • The Obama White House has lost the narrative in the way that the Obama campaign never did” (New York Times, March 6)
  • Ok. Has the narrative changed because of the health care success? (Washington Post, March 26)
  • The only thing that changes is the narrative.” (CNN, March 23)

“The rise of the ‘The Narrative’ actually renders actual positions on the issues almost meaningless, since the positions now matter less than what they seem to mean.” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. “The goal of political campaigns now is to spin a storyline that most ‘resonates’ with the electorate, or segments thereof”.

Read the discussion generated by MinnPost’s Eric Black

The word ‘narrative’ comes to us from the 16th century and traditionally means something told in the form of a story.  It is ultimately from the Latin, narrativus, meaning something told, related or revealed (as in a story).  One of the best-known examples is The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas.

The Global Language Monitor has been tracking political buzzwords since the turn of the century.

  • Top Political Buzzword of the 2000 Presidential Election was ‘Chad’.
  • Top Political Buzzword of the 2004 Presidential Election was ‘Incivil’ as in the InCivil War, alluding to the vicious war of words between the Kerry and Bush (43) camps.
  • Top Political Buzzword of the 2008 Presidential Election was ‘Change’.

More recently, GLM has tracked the following about political buzzwords in the media:

To track political buzzwords, Global Language Monitor uses the Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media, on the Internet and throughout the blogosphere, now including social media. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.