Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Trump Thesaurus

This post is an expanded version of a shorter item I posted to Facebook yesterday. Sorry if you're having to read it twice ...

Yesterday, January 11th, President-Elect Donald Trump held his first formal press conference since July 27th of last year*. It lasted about an hour, a large part of which was taken up by an introduction in which incoming press secretary Sean Spicer yelled at the assembled press corps, a fawning introduction by Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence, a prepared statement by Mr Trump, and a lengthy presentation by Mr Trump's legal counsel Sheri Dillon concerning his plans for addressing conflict of interest issues. The actual amount of time spent evading answering questions was, thus, fairly limited, and that was probably not a bad thing, given that there was very little specific information provided to a press corps that Mr Trump clearly despises unless it reports on him with fawning adoration.

Here's my linguistic take on the news conference:

(1) Mr Trump tends to use adjectives describing expected results rather than nouns defining what those results will be.

(2) Things Mr Trump does or likes are "amazing," "brilliant," "fantastic," "tremendous," "huge," "phenomenal," and "total."

(3) Things Mr Trump does not like are "a disgrace," "dishonest," "sad," "pathetic," "failing," and "unfair."

(4) The adjective "unfair" is most often used to describe news coverage with which the president-elect is not pleased.

(4) The adverb "very" is liberally (pardon the expression) used to intensify the adjectives that take the place of nouns in Mr Trump's remarks.

He's easy to cover from a linguistic standpoint ... a particularly large vocabulary is not required.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* The Washington Post last October 6th documented 71 times that Mr Trump or his surrogates had criticized Senator Clinton for not holding a press conference - as of that date, she had not held one for more than 270 days. When Mr Trump finally held his press berating conference on January 11th, it had been 168 days since his last press conference on July 27th, 2016. Just sayin'.


KathyA said...

Ahhh -- a trumpasaurus. Let's hope for extinction.

Mike said...


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Holy smoke! You got it!

Or he does: how to sound like you're communicating without saying anything of substance. We're in a post-meaning cycle of communication. He sounds like an amateur spin doctor.

allenwoodhaven said...

We're in for an interesting 4 years. (As in the supposed Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times.") I suppose that we, or at least most of us, will survive. What shape we'll be in is a whole other question.

Every citizen needs to stay aware and speak out, whether for or against what happens. It'll be worse if there is silence in response.