June 18, 2011

Palin can write

McWhorter on the Palin emails:

To get a sense, it helps to see a few of these emails. Because email is written speech, it’s easy to miss artfulness in them. Yet, take this Palin passage: “Even CP has admitted locking up tax rates as Glenn suggests is unacceptable to the legislature, the Alaskan public, this administration, and the Constitution.”

The spelling is flawless—and unlikely to be completely a product of spell-check, which misses errors and often creates others. More to the point, she has an embedded clause (“locking up tax rates”) nested into a main one, with another clause “as Glenn suggests” nested within the embedded one. That’s good old-fashioned grammar school “syntax.” I have known plenty of people with B.A.s who could barely pull it off properly at gunpoint, and several others who would only bother to at gunpoint.

He then goes on to explain why she is facile with the written word and how it speaks to the current, failing models for educational writing.

comments

  1. Casey Cichowicz on June 18th, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I heard something about Palin and people being forced to write at gunpoint, and what happened when she didn’t like their nested clauses. Not sure if it’s true though.

  2. Deron Bauman on June 18th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I hear she killed a dude.

  3. Cindy Scroggins on June 18th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Nested clauses are offset by commas.

    I heard last week that Sarah Palin shot a man in Reno.

  4. Sheila Ryan on June 18th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I could whup her in a sentence-diagramming competition. So could Cindy and some other gals, as well as a few fellers, I reckon.

    And I wouldn’t be a-skeered to go up against her mano-a-mano in a spelling bee, now you get down to it.

    Maybe if she gets around to touring Iowa this summer, I’ll issue a challenge.

    Nonrestrictive clauses at ten paces.

  5. Cindy Scroggins on June 18th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’d buy a ticket to that.

  6. Sheila Ryan on June 18th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Trick-shooting and diagramming sentences. Kind of an American biathlon.

  7. Cindy Scroggins on June 18th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I’d enter, but I’d probably trick shoot someone in the eye.

  8. Sheila Ryan on June 18th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I’d probably trick shoot someone in the butt.

  9. Cindy Scroggins on June 18th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Then we’d stand there laughing.

  10. Deron Bauman on June 19th, 2011 at 2:05 am

    That’s what it comes down to. In the end.