"Believe me"

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A video compilation of Donald Trump in the role of a salesman:

And the evidence from the 12 Republican and 9 Democratic debates:

Count of "believe me"
Clinton 0
Cruz 1
Kasich 2
Sanders 0
Trump 28


  1. D.O. said,

    April 30, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

    If Language Log is in the full-on campaign mode, I would like to make a sort of request and a sort of observation. Recently, 538 published an article by Craig Fehrman Indiana is weird. The thrust is that Indiana is significantly demographically different from its Midwestern neighbors and that it's character is in large degree is shaped by early settlers from the South, while other states had a larger share of New England migrants and then foreign-born migrants.

    Does the linguistic data support it. A quick look at theDialects of North America atlas prompts the answer between "kind of" and "maybe". Southern part of Indiana is classified as belonging to the Midland dialect just like Southern pars of Ohio and Illinois, but Northern parts of Illinois and Ohio have a sizable portion of Inland North speakers (also around Springfield in Illinois, why?), while Indiana has only a small portion assigned to North.

    An obvious explanation is big Great Lakes cities. Indiana has none, Illinois obviously has Chicago, Ohio has Cleveland and is probably influenced as well by nearby Detroit. Chicago is close to the North-West corner of Indiana, so maybe there is something in there too.


  2. Victor Mair said,

    April 30, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

    And all of the cartoons in this week's New Yorker are about the Donald.

  3. Leidenfrost Effect said,

    April 30, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

    Whenever a salesman says "believe me," I don't.

  4. FM said,

    April 30, 2016 @ 8:08 pm

    @D.O.: yes. The population center of gravity in Indiana is farther south, and the geological boundary that generated this division in the first place (black soil in the corn belt vs. more Kentucky-like geology and farming practices further south) is farther north. Hence Indiana is much more dominated by the southern part.

  5. Charles said,

    May 3, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    To D. O.: That little factoid about Springfield might be due to the circumstance that Springfield is the state capitol and many people from the Chicago or other northern areas have moved there over the decades to conduct business with or about state government, and they brought their speech patterns with them.

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