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Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump and Verbal Miasma


This Frontline show was particularly great at following Trump's rise and explaining what I've been struggling with, which is - HOW? WHY?

From describing how he was as a student, his approach to life, and later business (mentored by McCarthy era lawyer Cohen), it could still help us wrap our minds around this dumpster fire.


After watching that press conference last week, how he said so much nothing you wonder is he consciously selling and trying to close a deal? Does he have a personality disorder? Is the selling unconscious and less than half the population fell for a con a la Trump University?


Trump’s Tower of Babble

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/how_donald_trump_uses_language_and_why_we_can_t_stop_listening.html
Ironically, because Trump relies so heavily on footnotes, false starts, and flights of association, and because his digressions rarely hook back up with the main thought, the emotional terms take on added power. They become rays of clarity in an incoherent verbal miasma.



Donald Trump’s unique speaking style, explained by linguists

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/11/14238274/trumps-speaking-style-press-conference-linguists-explain

These are normal techniques, particularly in conversational speech. "Is he reading cognitive science? No. He has 50 years of experience as a salesman who doesn’t care who he is selling to," Lakoff says. On this account, Trump used similar methods in his QVC-style pitch of steaks and vodka as he does when he talks about his plan to stop ISIS.

In other words, when Trump’s audience finishes his sentences for him, the blanks are filled with sentiments that resonate: fears of joblessness, worries about the United States losing its status as a major world power, concerns about foreign terrorist organizations. Trump validates their insecurities and justifies their anger. He connects on an emotional level, Du Mez says.


This is a more recent Frontline:


I haven't looked at it, but I'm hoping it sheds more light on the coming disaster, be it one, two, three or all four years.

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