You Betcha, Sarah!

Topic: Verbal Nonsense

“Right wingin’/ bitter clingin’ / proud clingers” – Sarah Palin, February 18, 2015 endorsing Donald J. Trump at a political rally in Ames, Iowa

I’m fascinated by the way Sarah Palin speaks. To me, her words are as lyrical and exciting as a 1 am drug-induced jazz solo at The Village Vanguard. I’m never quite sure what I am experiencing but it is raw and new and mystifying. Below, I have lifted some key insights from a 2010 New Republic article by John McWhorter to see if I could get a peek into the mind and mouth of Sarah. (Lifted copy is in bold. Read the full article.)
 
So, what’s up with Palin’s free verse jazz speak, John? 
She may be forming sentences from  impressions as they enter and leave her head rather than constructing insights about them. Or at least, insights that go beyond the bare-bones essentials of human cognition — an entity (i.e. something) and a predicate (i.e. something about it).

 
Spoken utterances — even by educated people (that is, even you) — average seven to ten words. We speak in little packets.
So, the thing is you should be able to catch someone no matter who they are speaking like Palin if you are looking for it. But only Palin can speak this way all the time. Or she is the only person in public or private I know of who has the ability to speaks like this. Some people call her style stream-of-consciousness speaking or speaking in tongues.  I’d like to find someone who can replicate it off of the top of their heads. (If there is a Robin Williams clips somewhere of him doing this, I’d like to know. He’s the only I can think of who would have been able to pull this off.) I believe Tina Fey’s writing is just that. She is painstakingly constructing a monologue that is perfection but I don’t believe it’s possible for her to speak ad hoc like that.
 
Her speeches are a flashlight panning over thoughts, rather than thoughts given light via considered expression. 
George W. was the first public person to catch my ear with his unexpected and sometimes hilarious malapropisms. What’s his deal, John?
George W. probably suffers from Wernicke’s aphasia, a neurological disorder interfering with matching word shapes to meanings.
Here is an example of George at work: “I know what it’s like to put food on my family.” My family is incorrectly chosen instead of the table. He may also skip key words. “I  know what it’s like to have to put food on the table for my family.” (Note I’m not commenting on the truthfulness of this phrase.) It’s all food for  your mouth thought! 
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Feet Gazing

Topic:Body Parts

When all of the toes on the foot are almost exactly the same length, including the big toe, it is said that the patient has a “square foot.” The medical term is Peasant Foot. In my professional opinion, this is the stablest, most functional kind of foot and the superior foot among foot types.  It is said that people with this foot (most have two) have a tendency to be calm and calculated when making decisions. As a result of this, they are very reliable and practical and well, usually geniuses. I gained this insight into the personality through the lower extremity of the leg below the ankle from extensive Googling research and from looking down towards the end of me. Many cultures connect different body parts and fluids to human behavior. Look for a future post where I will explain the Japanese tradition of deriving personality traits by blood type. faee601e-cfcb-4c8c-9c44-617ab8639796_tablet

You’re mispronouncing the name, it’s Dr. “Soyce”

Topic: Dr. Suess

Dr. Suess (Theodore Geisel) and I share the same medical specialty  so I got to thinkering about how he came up with his pen name.  This is what I found out: his middle name is Suess and his mother’s maiden name was Seuss. The end. No wait, there’s more. He added “Dr.” because although he dropped out of his Phd program at Oxford, he wanted to tip his hat to his abbreviated experience. And he first started using the pseudonym after he got kicked off the school magazine at Dartmouth for public drunkenness.

This is from Wikipedia, so it’s must be true: We  pronounce his name /ˈsʲuːs/, an anglicized pronunciation inconsistent with his German surname (the standard German pronunciation is [ˈzɔʏ̯s]). He himself noted that it rhymed with “voice” (his own pronunciation being /ˈsɔɪs/). Alexander Liang, one of his collaborators on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, wrote of it:

You’re wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn’t rejoice
If you’re calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice (or Zoice)

Schvowee! Two Free Bonus Images!
Before Ted was a doctor, he was an ad man. Here are a couple of his adverts:

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Women Can Be People, Too

Topic: Lyrics

During my lunch break, I was perusing my copy of The Complete Lyrics by Ira Gershwin (Ed. Robert Kimball) when I happened upon this doozie of a lyric below, written in 1937. Oh, what would it be like to be considered a full-fledged person?  In another version of this song called “Stand Up and Fight” the last line is,  “Aren’t women human beings?” Well, are they?

On another note, I was tickled to see the word “evildoer.” The first time I heard the word
was from George W. Bush in 2001 and I thought he made it up as he is wont to do.

Of all the jobs listed, “Chief Commission of Sewers” is inspired. In the front of the book there is a quote from Elvis Costello: “A recommendable, if intimidating, read for any lyricist.” Agreed.

There is another lyric that Ira wrote in 1950 that would make a good companion piece to this one called, “Don’t be a Woman if You Can.” “You’re better off a zombie, Or Fitch and Abercrombie…”  How au courant, Ira!

March of the Suffragettes Lyrics by Ira Gershwin