Revisiting a handful of historic inaugural addresses from pivotal moments in U.S. history helps frame the purpose of this national event. Continue reading...
Dr. King's words evoke connections and resonate with readers decades after they were first written. We explore his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" through the lens of its literary merits. Continue reading...
Technically speaking, the Presidential Inauguration only refers to when the president-elect takes the oath of office. It is important to keep in mind that the peaceful transition of power in this country rests on a few powerful words. Continue reading...
Thanks to numerous anecdotes about the old and new ways of the lexicography, I quite enjoyed The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of it All at the Oxford English Dictionary, the memoir of John Simpson, former Chief Editor. Simpson was a participant and prime mover in the huge changes to the OED, which saw the dictionary finally being produced, "from the computer database, not from copper plates." Because of the unique insights into the most important and impressive dictionary in English, this is a book any word lover should enjoy. Continue reading...
After her defeat in the presidential election by Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech on November 9, 2016. Concession speeches are an occasion for the losing candidate to bow out gracefully and to show the maturity it takes to accept defeat. Like those who have conceded or merely said farewell before her, Hillary Clinton's concession was a summation of a public life, with a dash of personal reflection and a vow to keep on fighting. Continue reading...
Topics: Language Politics
Donald J. Trump, newly elected President, delivered a speech in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 to celebrate his victory and thank his supporters. In contrast to much of his campaign rhetoric, these remarks sought to reach out to former adversaries and heal old wounds. Comparing the poetic language of Barack Obama's 2012 victory speech with the comparatively plain-spoken language of President-elect Trump's address gives us a window into two very different ways to accomplish many of the same goals. Continue reading...
When I recently heard a news reporter say that "China doesn't want a failed nuclear state on their doorstep," I was taken by surprise. Did China seriously want North Korea to succeed in their nuclear ambitions? Continue reading...
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