Sunday, February 2, 2020


An especially good episode of the BBC Radio 4 podcast Word of Mouth: “Lying,” with Michael Rosen, Laura Wright, and guest Dawn Archer, professor of pragmatics and corpus linguistics. Listen to this twenty-eight-minute conversation (which does not touch upon politics) and then consider, say, the following:

“Well, I don’t know him. I don’t know Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people, including people today that I didn’t meet — but, just met ’em. I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t know where he comes from, know nothing about him. . . . I don’t even know who this man is, other than I guess he attended fundraisers. So I take a picture with him. I’m in a room, I take pictures with people. I take thousands and thousands of pictures with people all the time, thousands during the course of a year. . . . No, I don’t know him; perhaps he’s a fine man, perhaps he’s not. I know nothing about him. . . . I don’t know him; I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him. I meet thousands of people. I meet thousands and thousands of people as president. I take thousands of pictures, and I do it openly and I do it gladly, and then, if I have a picture where I’m standing with somebody at a fundraiser, like I believe I saw a picture with this man. But I don’t know him; I never had a conversation that I remember with him.”
[My transcription and ellipses.]

comments: 4

shallnot said...

This would be either a very easy or an insanely difficult candidate for a “How to improve writing” post (or in this case speaking).


Michael Leddy said...

As Zippy would say, Yow! The only problem is that to improve it would be to better lie.

Frex said...

I don't know that it could be improved upon, it is such perfect lying hash, with lying gravy on top, sprinkled with crispy fried lies.
Frex = Fresca

Pete said...

Other than the imbecilic repetition, this is probably the most coherent transcription of him speaking that I’ve ever read.