Wednesday, October 11, 2006

... you know.

Some excerpts from the President's press conference today:

"The speaker's strong statements have made it clear to not only, you know, the party members, but to the country, that he wants to find out the facts,'' Bush said at his press conference outside the Oval Office. "All of us want to find out the facts. I mean, this is — you know, this is disgusting behavior when a — you know, a member of Congress betrays the trust of a… family that sent a young page up to serve in the Congress."

"He's… done a fine job as speaker, and when he stands up and says 'I want to know the truth'… and I believe yesterday he said that if somebody on his staff, you know, didn't tell him the truth, they're gone. I respect that and appreciate that and believe him.''

"I think the elections will be decided by security and the economy. I really do,'' the president said. "You know, I know this…Foley issue bothers a lot of people, including me. But I think when they get in that booth, they're going to be thinking about, you know, how best to secure the country from attack, and, you know, how best to keep the economy growing.''

"We've got to deal with these problems before they come to…our territory… You know, I understand that some are saying, 'Well, he's just trying to scare us.' My job is to look at the intelligence… and I'm going to tell you, there's an enemy out there that would like to do harm again to the United States because we're in a war.''

You would think after six years as president he would have a better way to pause. You know.

9 comments:

Steve B said...

Like, you know, umm, maybe it's, you know, better when we can't understand him.

My favorite pauses are his long "uuuuhs" when he is searching for words such as "investigation."

John said...

That reminds me of Ronald Reagan's use of the word "well" whenever he went off the script and had to speak on the fly. It's basically a classier substition for "um" but it still sounds smarter than "you know," you know?

mrne said...

People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

It might be interesting to tape record a 30 minute casual conversation between friends, then do a verbatim transcriptionm including all the verbal pauses e.g. ums, uhs, you knows, and sentence fragments. You might be astonished how much of that sort of thing exists in the conversation of even well educated folks.

Mark said...

What I don't understand is why NPR (and, perhaps, other outlets) put this clown on the air. He is never going to say anything with a point.

And his "you knows" aren't just pauses. They are the desperate attempts of a very lazy person to dredge up something someone told him that he thinks might be related. There are a lot of neurons in the little coward's "brain" that were never connected.

douglasbtrain said...

Mrne, can we agree that there is a difference between a conversation among friends and a presidential press conference? The press conference was Bush at work, on the job, and he performed poorly. A professional at a formal event wouldn't have spoken the way he did. Bush is lazy and unprofessional.

Rachel said...

Isn't he coached like a trained chimp? Those "you know..." pauses are probably meant to signal that he needs more words pumped into his earpiece.

Frank said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frank said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. It's funny how sometimes these quickly written posts get more feedback than the ones I labor over.

mrne: As douglasbtrain pointed out. Yes, we can talk that way in informal settings and at limited times during formal events. But to see it this often in one shot with very important issues being discussed did not seem right. It came off as if he didn't take the topics seriously. It's part of his good ol' boy charm that people like to see, but it doesn't give a favorable impression for the rest of us.

Rachel: It would be funny if after each question he would dip his head, put his finger to his ear, pause, then raise it to answer the question. At least he could give the response in one shot instead of so start-stop.

mrne said...

Mayor Daley (the Younger and the Elder as well come to think of it) are terrible public speakers. Senator Edward Kennedy, a Harvard graduate, is an awful public speaker. The list of poor speakers in professional positions is endless, and dare I say, far longer than the list of great orators.

My suggestion about taping a casual conversation between friends, actually comes from my professional experience. As a clinical psychology intern, I had to tape therapy sessions with patients, and then do verbatim transcriptions. I was acting in a professional capacity, and in the review of the tapes while looking at the transcriptions, I was shocked by my own ums and sentence fragments etc. Most people I encounter in real life, think me eloquent and I've been asked to speak on many occassions. Also, following The Shooting, I was interviewed on NPR, and they were delighted with the interview and again told me how eloquent I was---yet I was speaking off the cuff. I am certain though, that were anyone to make a verbatim transcription of that interview, there'd be more ums and uhs, than you'd probably expect.