Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Colons and disfluencies

Colons are bad, according to many, especially in book titles. Example: Lincoln: A Life. Well, I’m not so sure I am against colons as a matter of principle. One of the first interesting political scientists I ever read as an undergraduate was Wilmoore Kendall. And one of the reasons I started taking him seriously is because (as I recollect) he loved colons. "Now listen to me: Locke’s relationship to the American founding is this." (I’m paraphrasing) This got my attention. This was much better than the typical dry-as-dust academic writing that we were forced to read for classes. And then he would say things like this: self-government includes "feeling with your hips" and "thinking on your feet." This article considers disfluencies is speech. I want to say, ah, um, you know....Some interesting facts are noted (there are specialists who spend their whole life studying this, ah, stuff!), including how frequently it occurs in English speech (circa every 4.4 seconds) and why it is that social scientists and those in the humanities say, uh, um, etc. more often than those in the sciences.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Thanks a lot for making me, like, you know, um, like, uh, well, you know, like totally self-conscious, uh, today, um, during my teaching! Actually, it was a good reminder for articulating my ideas properly to model for my students. Thanks!

Maybe Hilary Clinton should have stuttered a bit more before making the racial slur about Gandhi being a gas station worker. I hope the media takes her to task as much as Trent Lott, et al. No? Oh well.

I’m really shocked - I’ve heard nothing about the Indian slur by Hilary! I guess that you can add anti-Indian slurs to the last good, respectable discrimination of anti-Catholicism.

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