Luntz on language

Frank Luntz—yes, THAT Frank Luntz—has some linguistic suggestions for Democrats in HuffPo's "Words that don't work." I would advise the Democratic Party against taking his advice, however; it may not be like a wolf offering his opinion to sheep, but it’s close. A few observations:

Senator Barbara Boxer’s alleged “crude personal attack” on Rice is BULLSHIT, and Luntz knows it. The transcript clearly shows “exactly what she said;” Boxer put herself in the same category as Rice:

Now, the issue is who pays the price, who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, within immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families, and I just want to bring us back to that fact.

Boxer was highlighting the sacrifices of military families, not attacking Rice or any other single and childless woman.

My favorite line is perhaps “Democracy is at its best when its practioners [sic] use language to unite and explain rather than divide and attack.” This, along with the phrases “childish sound bites” and “sound bite flippancy” are particularly odd coming from the supreme practitioner of soundbite attack politics. I suppose we should expect no better from someone who coined the misleading term “Healthy Forests” to describe expanded logging of national forests, and who sees a positive connotation to the term “Orwellian.”

I also noted his use of the phrase “Democrat majority.” For the last time, Republicant wingnuts: “Democrat” is a singular noun. If you’re looking for an adjective, use “Democratic.”


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