Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Liar!' vs. 'You lie!'

Here's an interesting linguistic post on Rep. Joe Wilson's (R - Idiots) outburst during Obama's healthcare speech. Essentially, it boils down to Wilson's using the simple present, whereas most English speakers would use the present progressive. The blogger, Geoff Nunberg, posits that this is something Wilson probably said in his head over and over again. Not that he planned it, but his dislike of Obama being so strong, it just came out. I wonder if it isn't more of a Southern thing, like Wilson was trying to provoke Obama into a duel or something.

While we're going all linguistic on Teabaggers' asses, might as well analyze this one:

Notice the reference to Obama and then the honorific used for Bush. Evidently, this guy doesn't consider Obama to be a President of the USA. While it's common to refer to the President only by his last name, I think it's rather telling that he uses the title with one, but not the other. I can't recall ever seeing people refer to 'Bush' and then to 'President Clinton'.

(for more photos of the 9.12 march, check out Jeff Malet's photo gallery)

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