The Presidential Language Register

Originally posted on the Tembua website on July 7, 2010.

Recently I heard President Obama say he was looking for some ass to kick. The issue isn’t that I object to the language. I told our children (once they were old enough to understand) that some terms have specific effects on the listener and should be used sparingly and carefully. An Anglo-Saxon vulgarity may be suitable when the loaded shelving unit collapses but it’s not acceptable during a client meeting, even if their demands are unreasonable. It may be more suitable addressing a subordinate but it certainly doesn’t improve the image of the speaker.

I could see our President telling his advisors or his Cabinet about kicking ass. There are times when he needs to look tough and the setting is right for coarse language. But when he steps in front of the cameras representing the country, kicking ass does not strengthen the image of steady statesmanship we need now. Rather than projecting the tough image I imagine he was going for, it gives the impression he’s at the end of his rope and has nothing left but anger and frustration. If the President is out of ideas and tearing his hair, who is going to direct the situation?

What do you think?


About tembua

Tembua: The Precision Language Solution provides comprehensive linguistic services for 100 languages to private industry and government agencies on a global scale. Services include document and website translation and localization; conference and 24/7 telephonic interpretation; glossary development; proofreading, text adaptation, editing, multilingual design and DTP; transcription; technical / custom authoring editing, foreign search engine optimization; translation memory management; subtitling.
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One Response to The Presidential Language Register

  1. Spike says:

    I completely agree with you. I am Italian. Maybe our Prime Minister should read your blog.


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