Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Zippy the Zilchead

This entire attack is based on a fake, a fraud, a fabrication, and in fact a forgery... - Kevin Rudd

Zip, zero and none... Kevin Rudd

Rudd's tone oscillates between injured innocence and earnest self-importance, but he never uses one word when a dozen might muffle his point... - Tony Abbott
Has anyone noticed how the Prime Minister has an odd habit of repeating, enumerating, and reiterating the one point in several words, phrases, synonyms? Is the Prime Minister alert, aware, and cognisant of this fact, and does he further understand, realise, and know that this tic of his doesn't necessarily make his point any more worth making? Really, this habit of the Prime Minister's is becoming more infuriating, insane, and insipid every time we hear it.

Perhaps the Prime Minister will be aware of a certain character type,: the sort of person who starts, initiates, and prefaces all their statements with phrases like 'honestly', 'to be frank', 'to be blunt'. In fact, he will be quite close, intimate, and trusting with a certain Minister in his Cabinet who repeatedly says things like 'Let me be up front', 'What I have always said is this', 'Our position is perfectly clear'. This conversational eccentricity, peculiarity, oddity is usually the symbol of a man who wants to give the impression of being perfectly open and honest without being perfectly open and honest: the Prime Minister would surely accede, agree, assent to this point. And yet, how different, distinct, and separate from this is the related Prime Ministerial habit of mindlessly repeating the one point in several different phrases?

Quite aside from anything else, it is inefficient - this waste, this idleness, this thriftlessness; it is a misuse of language, the lexicon, the dictionary. If the Prime Minister is going to use long strings of nouns or verbs to convey his political position, then the least he could do would be to deploy language in order to clarify, expound, expand, and elaborate. Language could be used elegantly to describe, then detail, then debate a particular point, before simply, smoothly, and swiftly moving on to another one. If this is a rhetorical technique on the part of the Prime Minister - and I suppose we can see it as a rhetorical technique, if we look at it in the right way - then it should at least merit some more care and attention in its use.

If this all seems a little vague, and rather artistic to the stern, practical eye of our Prime Minister, perhaps, instead, he could try something a little different: after having made a point, perhaps he could proceed by a series of contradictions? 'Zero, zip, zilch, a bit, something, somewhat, everything, a plenitude, all.' This simple expedient would allow the Prime Minister to state two opposing political positions, both of which contrarily contrarian positions he will undoubtedly be able to hold at some point during his political career. Alternatively, instead of confining the Prime Ministerial language to monosyllabic alliterative phrases ('zero, zip'; 'nothing, nada'; 'a fraud, a fake'), perhaps his Premierness could take a leaf out of the abecedarian hymn book, and begin each synonym with a new letter of the alphabet: 'Amazing', 'Brilliant', 'Classic', etc - working his way, by gradual degrees, to 'WTF', 'XLNT', 'Yowzers', and 'Zany'!

After all, anything would be better than the current phrasebook that the Prime Minister has on offer, which is becoming ridiculous, serious, dull.


nailpolishblues said...

I think both armagnac'd and Tony Abbott beat you to it.

TimT said...

Rudd's Prime Ministerial lexicon is like an onion of boringnss; it contains layer after layer of dull just waiing to be unveiled.

TimT said...

Chucked in a link to 'gnac's post, though, just then, since that was where I first saw the Abbott quote.

Maria said...

fake, fraud, fabrication, forgery ....

Likes his 'f' words, doesn't he?

The 'f' word is the language of the really stultified linguistically. "fabulous!"

TimT said...

Alliteration, to drive home his alleged points. I just wish he'd used better and more interesting words. 'Foo-faddle'! 'Flatulent'!

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