Do you typically find Donald Trump’s words to be food for thought, that thought being, “WTF?” … or letters to that effect?
If so, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans — in fact, people anywhere within earshot — often find the Commander-in-Chief’s command of the language far less than presidential.
One interested listener is New York Times Op-Ed writer Charles M. Blow. In his May 1 column, Blow argues that Trump-speak is “a jumble of incomplete thoughts stitched together with arrogance and ignorance” that leaves America “suffering under (a) tyranny of gibberish.” He goes on:
As researchers at Carnegie Mellon pointed out last spring, presidential candidates in general use “words and grammar typical of students in grades 6-8, though Donald Trump tends to lag behind the others.” Indeed, among the presidents in the university’s analysis, Trump’s vocabulary usage was the lowest, and his grammatical usage was only better than one president: George W. Bush.
Blow suggests that there may be a method to Trump’s linguistic muddiness: its appeal to the general public, falsely presenting him as more honest than typical, smooth-speaking politicians. But here, Blow asserts, is “the great danger”:
Many people expect a political lie to sound slick, to be delivered by intellectual elites spouting $5 words. A clumsy, folksy lie delivered by a shyster using broken English reads as truth. It is an upside-down world in which easy lies sound more true than hard facts.
And that, of course, is the essence of what may go down as the Trump administration’s singular legacy: the Alternative Fact.