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How 9/11 Changed the Way We Talk (2016 Update)

How 9/11 Changed the Way We Talk
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By Paul JJ Payack

AUSTIN, Texas. September 11, 2016. For the last decade-and-a-half, The Global Language Monitor, and its predecessors have been keeping track of the manner in which the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 have changed the way Americans Talk. We have updated our findings several times since, as the language has evolved with the ensuing events of the decade, most tragic (Iraq, 7/7, Afghanistan, the Global Economic Restructuring), others seemingly beyond surreal (the Southeast Asian Tsunami, the inundation of New Orleans) a welcome few comforting.

New York Financial Center at dusk
One World Trade Center Glistening at Dusk

We have found subtle yet profound differences in our everyday speech since that day when terrorist attacks unfolded on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the pending targets in Washington, D.C., widely suspected to be the White House or the Capitol Building. The changes we have tracked include the way Americans speak in terms of subject matter, vernacular, word choice and tone.

9/11

The first case is the use of 9/11, itself, as a shorthand for the 2001 terrorist attacks. Using various web metrics, 9/11 outpaces any other name, including the spelled out ‘September 11th” by 7:1 margin. This designation, in itself, is quite interesting. It is true that Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Pearl Harbor attack as “December 7th, 1941 as a day which will live in infamy”. But there were no “12/7″ rallying cries thereafter. Neither were the dates immortalized of the original battles of the Korean War, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which preceded the major escalation of the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the siege of Afghanistan siege, or the invasion of Iraq. Only the 7/7 attacks on the London transportation system are recorded in common memory by their date (and primarily in the UK). .

Ground Zero

Though the ‘Freedom Tower’ now towers over the site, the name Ground Zero still evokes a sacred place, where the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers once stood. It is also revered as a burial ground since thousands of bodies literally vaporized in the ensuing collapse with no remains found whatsoever.

Almost universally, it is capitalized as any other proper name, with a few exceptions, most notably the New York Times (and later legitimized in the AP Style Guide).

In fact, the Times continues to insist on referring to Ground Zero in the lower case, calling it, for example, ‘the area known as ground zero’. Admittedly, ground zero also refers to the epicenter of a nuclear blast. In the minds of this generation, this is a close as they have ever gotten to such an event (or ever expect to).

Names are officially bestowed in a number of ways, most often by bureaucratic committees following arcane sets of rules, answering to few. In this case, we kindly request those nameless bureaucrats to follow the lead of hundreds of millions around the world who have formally bestowed upon that special place, the formal name: Ground Zero.

Heroes

In mythology, heroes were men and women often of divine ancestry endowed with the gifts of courage and strength. In reality, everyday heroes of the late 20th and early 21st centuries were sports figures (‘Be like Mike’ and ‘Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio’), comic book and cartoon characters ala

Superman and Spiderman, and all too frequently ‘anti-heroes’ known for the colossal damage they might inflict upon a helpless (and often hapless) world.

Into this tableaux, came the heroes of 9/11, very real men and women, rushing into and up the Towers as everyone else was rushing down and out; rushing the cockpit of Flight 93, with plastic knives and forks and hot coffee, forcing the startled highjackers to abandon their plans of crashing into the Capitol or White House rather than the previously unheralded soil of Swanksville, PA; and the men and women who quietly stood their posts at the Pentagon, just doing their duty, not knowing if they would be subjected to another horrific, and more deadly, attack at any moment.

In the post-9/11 world, the term has now come to apply to any who place their lives in danger to foster the common good, especially ‘first-responders’ such as: firefighters, EMTs, and police, who quietly place their lives on the line every day.

Another historic change is the treatment of American soldiers with the respect they have been unaccustomed to since the days of the Vietnam War. The public has evidently been able to separate the politics of the wars from the all-too-human participants.

-stan

The suffix in Persian and related languages that means, literally, ‘land of,’ hence, Afghanistan or Land of the Afghans, or Kurdistan (or Kurdish Territories), or even this relatively new moniker: Londonistan. Talibanistan, referring to Afghanistan and the ‘tribal lands’ in Pakistan. The suffix has been appropriated in various, often humorous, ways such as the famous New Yorker cover that referred to the various ‘-stans’ one encounters in post-Modern life.

The Demarcation of Time

The date 9/11 now has a special place as a time marker or time stamp; we now frequently delineate time periods as either pre-9/11 or post 9/11.

The unCivil (or inCivil) War

Since 9/11, the political discourse of American politics has, arguably, descended to its lowest level since the Civil-War era when Lincoln was typically depicted as a know-nothing, Bible-spouting Baboon. Even speech of the Watergate era was spared the hyperbole commonly heard today, as respect for the institution of the presidency remained high, even though the President was widely disdained.

Today, especially in the 2016 presidential cycle, political opponents are routinely called ‘liars,’ are typically compared to Hitler, Nazis and Fascists by those who evidently know little of either history or political theory.

When tragedies do occur (the inundation of New Orleans, the Gulf Oil Spill, the Global Economic Restructuring), no opportunities are overlooked to demonize the sitting president by the ‘loyal’ opposition. And the vitriol has steadily increased throughout the decade as measured by various longitudinal indices of GLM. In fact, much of the frustration with President Obama now associated with liberals and progressives has been trending upward since his inauguration, though it was overlooked by the conventional media and polling organizations because traditional polling and information gathering often finds itself at a disadvantage when compared to Internet and social-media based trend-tracking organizations.

It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this debasement of political speech and rhetoric, but it has been suggested that in the face of a nearly invisible, constantly morphing, enemy, we have turned the attack inward, upon ourselves, and our institutions.

Apocalyptic-type Terminology

In an exclusive of the worldwide media, GLM has also found a decided rise in apocalyptic-type terminology in the description of tragedies but even with events of inconvenience (such as Washington’s Snowmageddon of last winter or the recent Carpocalypse in Los Angeles). After all it does snow in Washington, D.C. every winter and freeways are frequently closed the world over for repairs.

This trend town alarming references include: Biblical, Hiroshima-type references, Catastrophe, Holocaust, Apocalypse, decimation, and End-of-the-World scenarios. These alarmist references are recorded across the full spectrum of print and electronic media. It appears as if the world is stunned the string of early 21st catastrophes. (By the way, the world still has to deal with the so-called end of the Mayan calendar extinction event that is scheduled to occur on December 22nd of next year.)

The global media appear mesmerized by the constant bombardment of television images of apparently rampaging, out-of-control elements, such as

the truly catastrophic combination of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan, where authorities encounter vast difficulties in keeping their own people fed, sheltered, evacuated, and, even, from dying on the street.

During the inundation of New Orleans, the Sunday Times (London) stated, “Devastation that could send an area the size of England back to the Stone Age”. The story continues, “AMERICA comes to an end in Montgomery, Alabama … it has been replaced by a dangerous and paranoid post-apocalyptic landscape, short of all the things fuel, phones, water and electricity needed to keep the 21st century switched on. By the time you reach Waveland, Mississippi, the coastal town of 6,800 where corpses lie amid a scene of Biblical devastation, any semblance of modern society has gone. “

Everyday language changes with 9/11

Some fifteen years on, we now speak of terror levels (since obsoleted), duct tape, Homeland Security, Full-body scanners, shoe-bombs and shoe-bombers, the Freedom Tower (since renamed), Shanksville, the Ground Zero Mosque, Imans, drones, high-value targets, Ramadan, Burquas, face veils, Sharia Law, and scores of other 9/11-related terms that now inhabit the English Linguasphere.



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A New Model for the Near-mythical Rise of Donald Trump; this one from the Ancient Greeks

Greek Gods

A New Model for the Near-mythical rise of Rise of Donald Trump; this one from the Ancient Greeks

Donald Trump’s Source of Power is the People, The Only Thing Separating Him From the People Will Cause His Downfall

 

Austin, Texas, May 24, 2016 — After reading yet another in an apparently unending number of ‘Dump Trump’ plans, we noticed that the latest differed from all the others, only in increasing its level of desperation.

It is now ever more evident that the party establishments are destined like Sisyphus to push their particular rocks up hills (in the current rendering) of their own making.

We’ve witnessed the attempts at explication of the origins of the Trump phenomenon to become more and more, dare we say it, detached or even unhinged from the current reality.  After all, it is now a given that the ‘establishment’ had completely missed (or were oblivious to) the rising anger, frustration and contempt that was seething beneath the surface of the body politic over the preceding seven years. (See Nate Cohn’s of the New York Times Apologia here.)

We at the Global Language Monitor have been documenting this undercurrent since 2007 And, indeed, it has and has been recorded in the pages of The Hill, the news organization most frequently accessed by the White House, Congress and  key influencers, as well as here in the Global Language Monitor.  However, those disruptive forces appear to have been masked, for good or for ill, by the triumphal arrival of the Obama Administration and its immediate aftermath. Of course, we also tracked the highs over the preceding time frame, but were prescient enough to pay attention to the lows, thinking there might be an interesting story that would unfold in the fullness of time.

At this point, it begs the question as to why would we expect these very same thought and opinion leaders, to suddenly, as if by epiphany or the unseen hand of the electorate, understand the enormity of the disruptive forces now sweeping the nation?

Nevertheless, how to explain this miss of near mythical proportions?  How would the ancient Greeks have

They might have called to mind the story of Antaeus.  (Antaeus here standing in for Donald J. Trump.)

Antaeus, the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Gaia, the goddess of the land, the earth.  Antaeus was a giant who lived in North Africa.  He would challenge other giants striding across his land to a wrestling match to the death.  So skilled was he as a wrestler that he built a tower of skulls of the giants he had conquered in a tribute to father. This went on for ages until he encountered Hercules who was in the midst of the eleventh of his famed twelve labors.  The struggle was long, brutal and bitter; Antaeus and Hercules appeared evenly matched.

Then Hercules noticed a rather curious occurrence:  Antaeus appeared to gain a bit of strength every time Hercules (or Clinton in this case) threw him to the ground. So Hercules began to hold him in the air, for longer and longer periods, until he was weakened enough for Hercules to crush him until death.

Antaeus was finally beaten, because Hercules came to understand that he gained strength from his mother Gaia (in Trump’s case, the people), whenever he was thrown to the ground.

In the same manner, many have noted that the more his opponents attempt to take Trump down, the more they thrust him to the ground, the stronger he becomes.  In the same manner for Trump, the ground, the earth, his strength are the disenfranchised, the belittled, body politic.

And the only way to beat Trump in this scenario is to separate the candidate from those who love him.

The question then becomes — is there a Hercules or Herculean team who can separate one Donald J Trump from his ultimate source of power — the people?

 -30-30-30-

This MetaThought Commentary was written by Paul JJ Payack, commentator, author, speaker and Big Data Analyst, and president of both the ThoughtTopper Institute and the Global Language Monitor.

You have permission to publish this work as long as proper attribution accompanies the copy since it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

MetaThought Commentary is a service of the ThoughtTopper Institute.

For more information call 1.512.815.8836.

 

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Politics 2016: Fighting the Last War, Again

Vietnam 2
It used to be said, that old soldiers are always fighting the last war.  That they are trained in the techniques and strategies that were acquired on battlefields past, and the old lessons don’t always apply to the current fields of battle.  In 2016, this lesson does not apply to the American Military who deal in contingencies of every imaginable stripe, but rather to the political class who seem to be impervious to the will (and pulse) of the American electorate.
Rather than trying to harness the anger beneath the surface, the political elite is attempting to ignore that which is in plain sight to in order to keep the control they have exerted over the electorate.




On the Republican side, senior leadership is arguing amongst themselves about how to stop Trump, the unannointed usurper.

On the Democratic side, there is some comfort in the fact that the party’s unelected, non-represetative ‘Super Delagates’ can direct the vote to whom they please, in a new (and ingenious) kind of voter suppression

While arguing over who voted to authorize the Iraq War, the Syrian Civil War becomes ever more ominous,, which now has resulted in more than a quarter of a million civilizian deaths while ex-patriating millions of rufugees to an EU, which can’t keep up with the continuing inflow.
And, again, while arguing over who voted to authorize the Iraq War, the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS) captures huge swaths of Iraqi land, and an ever enlarging footprint in the Middle East (and now North Africa), and declares the existence a new Caliphate, which by tradition, all Muslims are ordered to support.
The same can be said for our political leadership in the current election cycle where the political reality in 2016 is in direct conflict with the will of their own people.

Not a day goes by without any number of screeching headlines referring to the Republican or Democratic leadership as well as the elite opinion makers attempting to stop the current political ‘revolutions’ and return to the more managable election landscape of elections past.




While Democratic and Republican Party leadership are busy fighting the last war (or eve worse the last several wars), the American electorate has been busy moving forward with eyes squarely on the current battle, writing headlines of their own.

Somehow it appears as if enough Americans have had their fill of the status quo — and are moving onto the new fields of battle, daring to lead the elites into a hazy, ill-defined political future.

Examples of Fighting the Last War:

  • Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – OK, so they might actually win their party’s nominations.   Obviously, this is a result of a series of major mis-judgements of Party Leadership of both parties.  Stop managing expectations and start managing reality.
  • Deaths by Opioids — Every year, there are now as many deaths from Opioids in the US as deaths from guns.  And this is affecting all demographics.  Where is the outcry!?
  • The 1% — No matter how you define the elite, the facts remain that an ever larger percentage of the nation’s wealth is flowing to those at the top.  And it is all too obvious that the banks that are ‘too large to fail’ are also ‘too large for jail’.
  • Middle East — Problems in the Middle East do not spring from George W. Bush, but rather from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923) and the creation of boundaries of convenience for the British Protectorate.  Fighting the Last War (Iraq 2003) here has led to the ongoing struggles in Iraq, the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria, and the spread of the Islamic State.
  • Manufacturing Jobs — The focus on ‘bringing back’ lost manufacturing jobs — In numbers employed, the Service Sector topped the Manufacturing Sector in the 1970s.  Since World War II the Manufacturing Sector has declined from about a quarter of total in percentage of total employment to just below 10% currently.  Fortunately, the sector’s productivity has exploded and the US still produces about 20% of the world’s manufacturing output.  But those millions of jobs (including three or four million shipped to China since the turn of the century) are not coming back.
  • Unemployment Under 5% — All Americans are quite aware that the employment number is not right. Does it include those who’ve given up looking for work? No.  Is the largest prison population in the world included in the number? No.  We all know those who are working two (or more) jobs to maintain their previous standards of living.  Are the underemployed counted the same as the ‘fully employed’?  Yes.
  • Focus on Identity politics — There is ample evidence that the younger population is not as focused on ‘identity politics’ as do the party’s elite. The current electorate focuses less on ‘race’ and identity politics, and more on the reality of income inequality, as well as disparities in opportunities, educational attainment, and employment.




Conclusion:

What is sure: the current electorate is delivering a resounding No Vote, a stunning vote of No Confidence to the current leadership of both parties.  A good portion of the American public has decided that they are tired of past and present policy initiatives, and the ever smaller focus on slights delivered to each other each, than their concerns with a world teeming with war, terrorism, and economic inequality.

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Answers to Unasked Questions From the Mid-Terms

Austin, Texas November 17, 2014 — Since the US Mid-Term Elections, the Global Language Monitor have compiled a list of the major global trends that were not specifically addressed by either party.

In 2014 to better understand these issues, GLM has structured these topics as “Answers to Unasked questions”.

US Mid-Term Election 2014 Map

 

“Since 2004, GLM has analyzed the top political buzzwords leading up the the Presidential- and Mid-term Elections,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and Chief Word Analyst for GLM. “This year we are highlighting the trends that were little addressed by either party.”

The Answers to Unasked Questions From the 2014 Mid-Terms follow.

Answer No. 1. In the Islamic state, women and young girls (10 and older) are stolen and then sold into sexual slavery or forced into involuntary marriages. And this after watching the beheading of their husbands, sons and brothers.

Question No. 1 How do you best describe a War on Women?

Answer No. 2. A horrific pandemic is raging in West Africa, threatening to escape to other countries and continents. The CDC estimates that it could reach a half million deaths or more — by January. The World Health Organization admits that it failed to see the outbreak for what it is.
As of Nov. 4th, WHO says there were 13,227 cases and 5,285 deaths. Doctors Without Borders warns if the number breaks 20,000, there will be little that can be done. The CDC believes the numbers of current cases should be doubled or tripled to between thirty and forty thousand as of now.

Question No. 2 Why are concerned citizens being ridiculed as panic-stricken and hysterical?

Answer No. 3 Since the first oil shock in 1973, the US has been in an upside down position regarding energy usage vs production. Estimates of harm done to individual consumers (and the economy at large) range up to a trillion dollars, or more. We re-tuned the entire economy, had wars, at least partially for oil, and spent billions in new exploration technologies. By some measures the US has finally regained the title of the World’s Top Energy producer. This has has all turned around in the last 18 months, yet few celebrate this remarkable achievement.

Question No. 3 The ‘Oil Crisis’ no longer serves a political purpose for either side. It’s much easier to argue over fracking, the Keystone pipeline and Global Warming.

Answer No. 4 According to the Purchasing Power Parity measurement of global economies, China has surpassed the US as the World’s largest economy earlier in 2014. (China will take another year of two of torrid economic growth to surpass the US employing the other scale, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is a momentous occasion. The Last time this happened was in 1857 when the the United States surpassed the United Kingdom as the world’s economic leader. Though there are those who dispute this exact date, all agreee that is was a long, long time ago.

Question No. 4 An important, even world shaking, event occurred during this election cycle; can you name it?

Answer No. 5 The Great Recession (Or Global Economic Re-structuring). In 2008 the then-current administration never ceased to maintain that the country was not in a by-the-books definition of a recession (even though the global economy was in a freefall). This was because the economy did not yet hit two consecutive quarters of decline in GDP. Six years later we are in the opposite position with successive quarters of growth, but the citizens believe that something is wrong structurally with the economy, with wages stagnant, and millions dropping out of the workforce or taking part-time positions at greatly reduced salaries.

Question No. 5 Why do some economists think that we need a new way to measure economic expansions, contractions, underemployment, and the like.

Answer No. 6: US Industrial production is currently at ‘normal’ levels, normal for a post-Industrial Economy, that is. For the last fifty years industrial output has fallen as a percentage of the overall economy, an inexorable decline.

Question No. 6: When is the manufacturing side of the US economy ever coming back to normal levels?

Answer No. 7: 2114. At this writing, most of the current conflicts in the Middle East can, at least partially, trace their beginnings to World War One, currently commemorating its centennial in 2014, and its immediate aftermath. These conflicts are intransigent, and deeply rooted — another hundred years, say two or three more generations, is as good a guess as any.

Question No. 7: When will the conflicts in the Middle East be settled?

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Flashback: Gulf Oil Spill and Rise of ‘the Narrative’ in Politics

The Importance of  Tracking Evolving Narratives

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Gulf Oil Spill Vs. Katrina

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Obama vs. BP

The Lesson of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is the importance of controlling the narrative, since whoever wins of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital — for good or ill.

Austin, TX, June 02, 2010 (Updated May 24, 2014) — In an exclusive analysis by The Global Language Monitor’s NarrativeTracker™, there are now several differing story lines emerging from the Gulf Oil Spill. The ‘narrative’ refers to the stream of public opinion captured by blogs and other social media outlets on the Internet, as well as the leading print and electronic databases.

Colleen Ross:  How Obama Lost Control of the Oil-Spill Narrative (CBC)

The Narratives emerging from this on-going (and slow-moving) disaster include: Obama was Slow to Respond – 95% of the social media conversations characterize the President Obama as ‘slow to respond’. Obama vs. BP: who’s in charge? — 52% see BP in charge of the spill. This may or may not be a political liability. Democrats need the blame assigned to BP; at the same time, Obama needs to be seen as in overall control of the disaster Worst environmental disaster ever – 42% see the current spill the worst environmental disaster ever. Federal Response — 57% see the Federal response using ‘poor’ or related keywords. Not a good month for the Feds; come to think of it, not a good year for the Feds. Katrina vs. Exxon Valdez – 61% make the comparison to the Exxon Valdez; about 39% compare the ongoing spill to the inundation of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Biblical Prophecies Abound Once More — About 61% of all references involve the Bible. (Even Ted Turner has a theory how the oil spill might be a warning from God.) These are markedly different in tone than those used with Katrina where the references focused on apocalyptic imagery, End-of-the-World scenarios and doom. The Obama Style of Leadership – This is a close one 52% see Obama as ‘hand’s on’ leadership, 48% see ‘hand’s off’. Again, this is either positive or negative depending on your political bias.

Clarence Page:  How stories, true or not, drive politics

Ronald Reagan was seen as a ‘hand’s off’ president and that was considered good. Jimmy Carter was a ‘hand’s on’ type president and that was considered bad. “The development of the Gulf Oil Spill narrative is important to track since he who wins control of the narrative, controls the story in terms of political capital – for good or ill,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “With the mid-term elections just five months away, and the prospect of the Gulf Oil Spill continuing unabated for months, control of the narrative is more important than ever.” The rise of the narrative can render positions on the issues almost meaningless, since positions now matter less than how they fit into a particular narrative.

The NarrativeTracker is more effective in capturing the true opinion of the public because it tracks unfiltered keywords in Social Media and other sources, rather than how that opinion is interpreted by the news media or by pollsters. The term ‘narrative’ in this sense is now appearing thousands of times in the global media on the Internet and blogosphere as well as throughout the world of social media, meaning the main streams of public opinion running in the media that needs to be fed, encouraged, diverted or influenced by any means possible. GLM recently announced The Healthcare NarrativeTracker Index™ (NTI™), in partnership with OpenConnect Systems of Dallas. The Healthcare NTI is the first product specifically designed to use social media-based monitoring to better understand the issues driving healthcare reform, providing a real-time, accurate picture of what the public is saying about any topic related to healthcare, at any point in time. The NarrativeTracker is based on the GLM’s Predictive Quantities Indicator™ (PQI™).

The PQI tracks the frequency of words and phrases in global print and electronic media on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere and other social media outlets as well as accessing proprietary databases. The PQI is a weighted index that factors in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity. About the Global Language Monitor Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.

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Map of the United One Hundred Years in the Future

 

 

 

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Obama and the null set narrative

Reprinted from The Hill, May 31, 2009

Obama and the null set narrative

By Paul JJ Payack

We have been analyzing the narrative of Barack Obama for some years now. In fact, we’ve tracked three differing narratives in the course of his campaign and the first term of his presidency. We’ve tracked the president’s highs (the “Yes we can!” Grant Park Speech, and others of soaring rhetoric), and his lows (the much more pedestrian Gulf Oil Spill effort).

We’ve been praised for our astute analysis, and condemned for announcing his premature political death. At the time, the Global Language Monitor’s analysis of the BP Oil Spill speech was actually pulled off CNN and replaced by a far milder critique. In retrospect, that speech was a harbinger of what was to come — Barack Obama bereft of Hope and Change.

Not that we didn’t have hints about of what was about to transpire. Consider the disposition of these “hope-and-change type” promises: (1) the immediate shutdown of Guantanamo, (2) the end of the K Street revolving door and (3) holding the bankers accountable for their part in the financial meltdown. How exactly do you make sense of these countervailing (or even contradictory) positions?

Obama and the null set narrative.

Now consider the president’s recent speech on U.S. defense policy: after ramping up the use of drones against “enemy combatants,” with hundreds of civilians deaths by the administration’s own estimate, he stands firmly against gratuitous drone strikes. After keeping Gitmo open for going on five years now, he will now do everything in his power to close it. How to make sense of these seemingly oppositional positions?

The null set narrative.

In the run-up to the 2010 midterms, we began to formally track the president’s narrative. We were curious to better understand how the word ‘narrative’ rose to be the No. 1 political buzzword at that time and what it meant to this presidency. Other terms frequently used to describe Obama at the time, included: detached, aloof, hands-off or professorial. Some took these words to be demeaning and/or insulting.

Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The danger comes when politicians and their operatives essentially use ‘narrative’ … the version of the truth that they want us to believe even when they don’t believe it.”

Since his reelection last November, we have remained silent on the subject — awaiting the second term narrative to emerge. With the recent series of crises, scandals and/or events, we now are, indeed, witnessing this new narrative: the null set narrative.

Consider, if you will, the current plight of one Jay Carney.

It is always interesting how one’s attributes can be used to praise or condemn depending on the narrative in which they are described.

However, this is a narrative that can fit around any news, story or scandal; more to the point, it is completely irrelevant to the words ensconced within it. Any words, anytime, anywhere. This is the narrative of choice for the administration at this point in time.

And now detached, aloof, and hands-off are the favored phrases in this administration’s null set narrative.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/302749-obama-and-the-null-set-narrative#ixzz2UuzupYr7

 

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Top Ten All-Time Bushisms: ‘Misunderestimate,’ ‘Mission Accomplished’ top list

Similar to US Presidential Historians, Re-evaluating the Bush Legacy

Austin, TX. April 25, 2013 – The official opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University, has prompted US presidential historians to re-evaluate the Bush 43 term in office. The Gallop organization has noted his highest approval ratings since Katrina.

“Some historians are noting improvement in their appraisals of the Bush Presidency, especially since the Obama Administration has chosen to follow a number of Bush precedents including the use of drones, keeping Gitmo open, prosecuting the war in Afghanistan, and the like,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. “In the same manner, we have re-evaluated President Bush’s most (jn)famous sayings, misstatements and malapropisms to see which have best withstood the test of time.”

President Obama has had his share of linguistic miscue and foibles, but new word creation has centered on his surname: Obamamania, Obamacare, etc.

The rankings were nominated by language observers the world over and then ranked with the help of the Global Language Monitor’s algorithmic methodologies that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the blogosphere, as well as new social media as they emerge.

Top Ten Reasons North Korean May Have Selected Austin as a Strategic Target

Austin, Texas, Weekend Release March 29-31, 2013 —  Since Austin, Texas is the home of the Global Language Monitor, we thought that we would shed some light on why Kim Jong Un might consider Austin a strategic target.
  1. A secret scholar of Middle English when the word wyrd (weird) meant fated.  Hence, the ‘Keep Austin Weird’ slogan actually means ‘Keep Austin Fated’.  Not good.
  2. Has a secret fear of endangered salamanders.
  3. Is really upset that the University of Texas and Texas A&M discontinued their ancient (and storied) football rivalry.
  4. So many Californians have migrated to Texas in the last few years that his NK advisers concluded that Austin was part of Cali.
  5. Mistook Austin for Dallas, one of the great fears of the Austinites.
  6. Has a strange aversion to hippie cowboys.
  7. Was not invited to a football tryout for Mack Brown’s UT squad.
  8. Heard that the Texas Capital is taller than that of the US.
  9. Fears Texas Governor Rick Perry as an adversary in his conquest for world domination.
  10. Figures that destroying Willie Nelson’s Armadillo World Headquarters will raise his world standing.

The Editors

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Obama: du candidat super star au président mal aimé


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La couverture de l’élection de Barack Obama a été sans commune mesure avec les élections présidentielles de 2000 et 2004. Jacques Portes explique pourquoi le président des Etats-Unis n’a pas réussi à transformer ce succès planétaire en atout au cours de son mandat. Extraits de “Obama, vers un deuxième mandat ?” (1/2).




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