Thursday, March 23, 2017

Geoffrey Nunberg on Trump’s “amateurish quotation marks”

Geoffrey Nunberg, writing about “the least literate president to take office” since Zachary Taylor:

Trump’s success as a politician owes a lot to his conspicuous disregard for the language of public life, of course. But when he tweets, he exposes himself as someone who has only a tenuous acquaintance with that language in its written form — not just as a man who doesn’t read books, but as a man who doesn’t read. Sealed in the bubble of his orality, he’s cut off from history, from biography, from sciences hard and soft.

That’s no impediment to running a large company, but it seriously impairs his ability to run a country, particularly if he’s at pains to deny or conceal it.

comments: 2

zzi said...

The same was said about Reagan.

Michael Leddy said...

Reagan was a diarist and an eloquent letter writer. Given the evidence of his public speeches, I think it’d be hard to make the claim that he ever evinced a “conspicuous disregard for the language of public life.”