Tag Archives: public speaking

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Performances


A reader suggested I write about the language Hillary Clinton used during the long, long campaign. My reaction was that it was a good idea and I will try to do that here. I have to state that she was far from my ideal candidate: honestly, I am tired of Clintons (and Bushes). Bernie Sanders was direct and forceful, but I didn’t think he would win in the general election. My ideal candidate would have been Elizabeth Warren, and I hope she will decide to run in 2020.

Meanwhile, back to Clinton’s language. Instead of specific words and phrases, I think more about her overall presentation. She was always well groomed and carried herself well. She was able to keep a placid face during the debates, even when insults were shooting her way. The one word I thought was reprehensible was when she referred to Trump’s supporters as a basket of “deplorables.” I have no idea who wrote that for her—perhaps it was her own word choice—but someone should have quashed it immediately. With that one word she painted every Trump supporter as unworthy, and if any of them had been considering voting for her, that single word killed that chance.

My main complaint about her campaigning style was when she was in front of large crowds and took to shouting. Her voice was raspy and grating. She had microphones everywhere, so the shouting was unnecessary. She could have conveyed her enthusiasm with a less annoying voice. Interestingly, I thought her concession speech was wonderful: she spoke calmly, convincingly and conversationally. She’s smart and diligent and very likely will do something productive with her time.

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More Spoonerisms

Is this a pird of brey?

Is this a pird of grey?           ©Judi Birnberg


A Spoonerism is born when, most commonly, the initial consonants of two words are transposed.

The Reverend William Spooner, for whom this verbal glitch is named, was renowned for many of these slips, several of which I listed in my previous post. In chapel at Oxford, Spooner once called for the singing of the hymn, “Kinkering Congs Their Titles Take.” Got that? Other clerics praised God as a “shoving leopard” and spoken of John the Baptist’s “tearful chidings.”

Chances are we’ve all fallen prey to these slips. I clearly remember speaking of a “grebt of datitude” once at a job interview. The interviewer and I both laughed and, somehow, I did get the job. It’s nice when people are understanding.

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