Ben Zimmer on Donald Trump on CBC

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[fbvideo link="" width="500" height="400" onlyvideo="0"]


  1. J. W. Brewer said,

    March 4, 2016 @ 6:41 pm

    I don't think too many US pundits have drawn the parallel between Trump and Rob Ford, but I wonder if the interviewer's distinction between the two at the very beginning was too glib. My impression (and a fair amount of what I know about Rob Ford's career comes from old LL posts!) is that for a considerable period of time his vulgarity shocked and appalled Canadian elite opinion while simultaneously confirming and perhaps increasing his popularity among his non-elite core political supporters, and that his career finally came to a halt not because he had worn out his welcome with his own political base via excessive vulgarity but because he finally crossed the line from reasonably high-functioning alcoholic/addict to not-so-high-functioning.

  2. john burke said,

    March 4, 2016 @ 6:55 pm

    The discussion of how Trump's stream-of-consciousness style makes it hard to find a coherent message suggests to me that the rambling style is an important element of the message. George Wallace also had an informal, no-nonsense, man-of-the-people oratorical style, but he didn't wander away from the subject at hand the way Trump does. He reminds me a little of Roz Chast's cartoon Pigeon Little: "The sky is falling! The sky is–oh look, a half-eaten bagel!"

  3. Adrian Morgan said,

    March 4, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

    There's something wrong with the audio on that video. Even with all volume controls turned up to maximum (which one normally NEVER does), the content is indistinct and dominated by low frequencies. Pretty much the only thing I haven't tried is restarting my computer, but given that other online videos play normally, I don't see how it can be a fault on my end.

  4. Adrian Morgan said,

    March 4, 2016 @ 9:13 pm

    Update to my previous comment: I've fixed the problem, which was due to my left speaker not being properly connected. This particular video plays almost exclusively through the left speaker, whereas most videos, which use both speakers, were unaffected.

  5. dw said,

    March 4, 2016 @ 11:39 pm

    Berlusconi seems like the best comparison for Trump.

    Both speak at a level that resonates with the id. Both are sexually coarse in public. Both play the media like a violin. Both have relatively warm relations with Putin.

  6. Barney said,

    March 6, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

    According to Emily Flitter's article for Reuters, Trump's rambling speech style isn't just intended to present him as plain speaking. It also allows him to leave out important words that the audience can mentally fill in, and avoid accountability for the ideas he conveys.

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