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Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton & uhs . . .

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,

This evening I am privileged to introduce the president of the United States, Barack Obama and our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. However, before I introduce them, this gentleman and this lady that loom larger than life in national and international politics, I would like to point out serious flaws in both the president and his Secretary of State.

Both have multiple flaws, just as everyone else has, but their major flaws lie in their public speaking expertise, or lack therof. The president is continuously described as the most powerful man in the world, and he also is lauded by many to be the most powerful speaker on earth—our esteemed Secretary of State runs him a close second, both in position responsibilities and in public speaking expertise.

I imagine most of you are familiar with the Toastmaster’s Clubs that exist across our nation. Those clubs are dedicated to improving people’s performances in public speaking, particularly in extemporaneous presentations, speeches made off-the-cuff as opposed to reading a speech or utilizing a teleprompter.

Many years ago, while I was still gainfully employed as a military service member, my immediate supervisor was an Air Force major who was a member of a local Toastmaster’s Club. The members met each week for five weeks and each member presented to the others an extemporaneous speech.

Each speaker was graded by the positive and negative comments of the other members, and each week the person that voiced the most uhs in speaking was given a large pink plastic piggybank. That person was required to keep the pink pig on his work desk in the coming week and return it to the next meeting to be awarded to the next speaker that uttered the most uhs. The uhs were viewed as piggy oinks.

That pig sat on the major’s desk for five consecutive weeks. Each week he lugged it to the meeting and returned an hour later and put it back on his desk. At a later date he joined the Club for another five weeks, and the pink piggybank sat on his desk for that five weeks also. I transferred out soon after that, and I have no knowledge of his activities since then. Uh, however, I can, uh, assure you that he, uh, is still lugging that, uh, that pink, uh, pig back and forth, uh, each week.

If you, the reader, have not guessed my reason for this posting, please allow me to explain. My point is this: If Uhbama and Hilluhry joined a Toastmaster’s Club, the club would need two pink piggybanks, one of which each week would sit on Hillary Clinton’s desk at the Department of State, and the other on the president’s desk in the Oval Office. Incidentally, that desk was dubbed the Offal Office during Bill Clinton’s presidency—okay, maybe not—maybe I was the only one that gave it that title, but it should have been given that label—he earned it.

But I digress. Has anyone counted, or even noticed, the frequency with which Hilluhry and Barack Uhbama say uh when they have no teleprompter? And how many times Uhbama stretches the word and to a count of five seconds and then adds the word so stretched out for another three of four seconds. He is desperately trying to formulate his next words and uses the uh, and, so trio to give him time to think. He also frequently uses the three words in sequence and sometimes adds and then, also stretched out to gain more time.

In virtually all his public speeches, beginning with the speech at the national democratic convention in 2008 and continuing in his speeches during the presidential campaign he used a teleprompter—without it he would not be the president of the United States today.

One can sum it up by saying that the president has never met a teleprompter he didn’t like.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Postscript: I learned while watching Fox News today that the White House has created an office that has been tasked to screen various media including books, newspapers, television shows and talk radio stations for criticisms of the present administration, and then develop and apply tactics to counteract such criticisms. Yep, that’s our tax dollars at work.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Welyano—a dialectical diversion used by speakers . . .

Welyano—a dialectical diversion used by speakers

The word welyano, shown and defined above, will be further defined and discussed below. Its definition, the discourse on that definition and its application in our society—is from the latest version of Dean Dyer’s Dictionary Discourses of Different Dialectical Diversions, a publication known by the acronym DDDDDDD. The acronym may be voiced by enunciating the letters separately in sequence, all seven of them, or by drawing out the first D thusly—Deeeeee. I prefer the drawn-out version.

Welyano is a manufactured word that consists of three common words—well, you and know, usually voiced as one word with three syllables. It is used to give the person questioned time to formulate an answer to the question. It serves as a defense mechanism and is used by people that have been asked to voice their opinion on something—on anything—on any subject ranging from AAA, Alcoholics Anonymous to zyzzyva, a tropical weevil of the genus zyzzyva. By immediately responding without hesitation to a question with a single word, Welyano, the user of the word erects a temporary barrier between themselves and the questioner and also between the questioner and any other person present. When a question is asked, the one being questioned immediately says, Welyano then pauses, indicating that the answer is about to be given, and only the rudest of the rude would breach that barrier and repeat the question, and with that repetition interrupt the train of thought being followed by the one being questioned, nor would a third person be impolite enough to intrude into the thoughts of the person being questioned.

The only person I know that would be that rude, in fact the only one I know that is that rude—and I know a lot of people, not intimately but casually, primarily from exposure to their drivel on cable television—is Chris Matthews. One may confirm that by exposing one’s self to his rudeness by gaining a guest spot on his nightly show, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Our current Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, is the most prominent practitioner of the welyano system—she is the definitive user of welyano, whether speaking in the US or abroad, whether in an English-speaking venue or high in the Himalayas—high up, that is. She consistently, almost invariably, begins her response with Welyano, then pauses, appears to be collecting her thoughts, then gives an answer to the question—the accuracy of her answers is not the subject of this treatise.

Welyano is a crutch, used by people whose linguistic ability is crippled by their inability to effectively respond quickly in conversations, particularly in interview situations. They even use the term when the conversation is scripted, when the questions are known to the subject being questioned and the answer that will be given is known to the questioner, a well established and routine procedure for interviews conducted by our nation’s mainstream media with guests whose agendas correspond with those of the venue in which the interview is conducted.

I predict that the term welyano will become part of our English lexicon. In fact, it’s already part of it—it just hasn’t been given the recognition it richly deserves. I cannot truthfully claim that I invented the pronunciation of the term, but I can truthfully claim that I created its spelling, the collection of letters that precedes answers to questions by even the most talented, the most garrulous and the most articulate speaker. The use of welyano is virtually universal, and probably appears in all other languages—spelled differently and pronounced differently, but used for the same  purpose—it’s a ruse to gain time to formulate an answer to a question.

I modestly offer the term to mankind, an offer made with no inclination to ask for monetary compensation or a Pulitzer Prize for this essay, nor will I demand consideration for the Nobel prize for linguistic enrichment of our language.

I’ll settle for the presidential presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal, and continue to bask in the reflected light and warmth of that presentation by our president—yeah, right!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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