Saturday, October 04, 2008

Where have all the g's gone?

Have you noticed that both sets of presidential and vice-presidential candidates now agree on something in their zeal to portray themselves as men and woman of the people -- that the "g" at the end of "ing" words is no longer necessary. Also, "gonna" has replaced "going to."

I am not even gonna try to address the "nukular" issue.

8 comments:

Nick Dawson said...

Is dropping the 'g' the new 'rolling up the sleeves'?

Anonymous said...

Tina Fey answered your question last night...

http://digg.com/lbv.php?id=8848690&ord=1

e-Patient Dave said...

As far as I know, Eisenhower started the "nucular" thing. Good Fresh Air piece about it by Geoffrey Nunberg back in '02, including this:

'That "nucular" pronunciation is really what linguists call a folk etymology, where the unfamiliar word nuclear is treated as if it had the same suffix as words like molecular and particular.'

It seems comparable to well-schooled people saying "decathalon" or "triathalete" when the last 'a' simply isn't in the word. In that case, the closest similar-sounding suffix I can think of is "phone-a-thon."

btw, maybe it's just me, but I'm noticing a lot less vitriol and hatred in the political emails this election season. I think that's a good thing. Sure, there are still some, but I sense we're returning to where significant differences in opinion were not a reason to scream with indignation. Let's keep moving things that way.

Julie in Boston said...

I would like to see the "G"OP gone!

Suzie said...

Perhaps they are trying to portray themselves as "down home" folks and think that using slang words like "gonna" and "gosh darnit" is the way to do that. I have no doubt that all of them are very smart, they just need to stop with the crazy talk.

ImPatient Dave said...

> Perhaps they are trying to portray themselves as "down home" folks

IMO, anyone trying to understand public behavior of campaigns and their candidates must bear in mind how very technical and strategic it's gotten. From what I've read, nobody in those positions pays any attention anymore to what makes sense to the common person; it's all a matter of what might swing the swingable voters *in swing states*, because anything else will literally make no difference on election day (!).

I've never seen a clearer pragmatic argument for nuking the electoral college, so the rest of us DO make a difference.

Anyway, if the swingables can be swung by talkin folksy and goin ta Home Depot, I betcha that's what they'll do. Who might be president today if in 2004 Gore had talked about 9/11 as much as Bush did? Who knows?

Speakin o' swing states, I find it remarkable that McCain has given up in Michigan, previously considered a swing state and home of many "Reagan Democrats." No more o' those, I guess. If I find any, I'll get 'em to ya.

(btw, yeah, this is e-patient Dave, except I've donned another persona for my non-medical schtuff.)

Anonymous said...

Someone from Boston is complaining about regional pronunciations? :) Pahk the cah....

*I agree with the commenter above, it's nice to have less vitriol in the campaign season, isn't it?

Madhu

Paul Levy said...

Arizona, Alaska, Illinois, Delaware -- which region did you have in mind? :)