November 3, 2012

We called in Language Log — over the Biden gaffe/non-gaffe — and Language Log responded.

"There's never been a day I wasn't happy to oblige either Ann Althouse or Ron Hardin, and especially not both of them."

LOL. Thanks!

31 comments:

rcommal said...

Ta da!

ricpic said...

"Ron" removes the marvelous distance that "rh" bequeathed.

AprilApple said...

"I ain't been". So glad our VP is smart n stuff.


rcommal said...

Of course, I already knew that Ann was right on this.

pm317 said...

yeah, he is (ain't) a working class guy..

Big Mike said...

A guy who has been a senator and Con Law professor is working class? Who knew?

EDH said...

In comparison, the (aqua) transitions from the [b] into the vowel in "been" start significantly lower, at around 1330 hz — as we expect for a labial sound like [b].

We men name our gaffes!

Oso Negro said...

If you have to consult Henry Higgins to decipher a glitch in pronunciation, it may be that you are too obsessed with proving your case.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Good thing I seen this blog post.

Paddy O said...

You're like Batman, with your own science lab to work on the more intricate blog posts.

campy said...

Biden is a genius. I bet by age 6 he was reading Kierkegaard in the original Denmarkish.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Total non-story. When people talk we often swallow our words. I'm used to sorting these things out not just in English, but in Haitian Kreyol, Bolivian Spanish, rural Qu├ębec French, and even in southwestern Hungary, where the guy not only spoke a dialect, but had no teeth!.

Detailed analysis eventually demonstrated that Armstrong had indeed said "a man" but the "a" was less than one-tenth second, and largely swallowed. That's how real people speak.

I think Biden is a clueless dolt, but I could *easily* imitate his speech in a manner making the "not" seem to disappear completely.

Next slide, please.

Lem said...

SCOTUS Roberts says both Althouse and RH are correct.

gk1 said...

There has never been a day of the obama presidency I don't pray to g*d Slow Joe Biden never has to step in as president. He is a stroke victim entering alzheimer's territory and no one will step in to get him the help he so desperately needs.

Calypso Facto said...

Meh. I read Language Log's analysis as "I can't really find evidence of it, but I'd like to support Althouse's theory". Biden's a Syracuse lawyer for cripes sake, it shouldn't take a language lab to decipher his utterances in a favorable (less unfavorable?) light.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
From Inwood said...

Q "What is the name of the big hurricane?"

Joe Biden: "Sadie"

Althouse: “Biden said ‘Sandy’ in Delaware-ese.”

Me: He said "Sadie" since he was functioning at 1/2 brain as per usual.

And with all due respect to Language Lab, their attempt at an explanation seems to involve the convoluted reasoning that: Biden obviously meant to negate, so he must've meant to have muttered a negative sound &, QED, he muttered a negative sound which, BTW, only the enlightened like us can hear.

Talk about dog whistles.

edutcher said...

The funny part is, Halo Joe will never miss an opportunity to tell you how much more smarter he is and how he's got lots of educations.

PS Ann, if you'd been in Benghazi, we never would have lost.

madAsHell said...

Kind of sad that the VP of the USA can't communicate clearly.

Icepick said...

rcommal, I assume the husband and other family units came through the storm okay?

And what is it with you people from Delaware? You're speaking a version of the language no one else can understand. It's almost like you're welsh or something.

Icepick said...

Plus, given that Biden constantly fucks up every time he opens his mouth, it was/is quite reasonable to assume he did it this time, too.

From Inwood said...

Captain Queeg:

“Ahh, but the east-coast kind of "n" … sort of almost "i uh" like the "no" in "uh uh." that’s... that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that Delaware-ese DID exist, and I’d have produced that east coast kind of “n” if only that Professir Higgins, er, Hardin hadn’t said that he’d slowed down the tape & felt that "n" is voiced and there's no voicing in Biden's 've part. I, I, I know now that Professor Higgins, er, Hardin & others were only trying to protect some Biden critics. Well, I can only cover these things roughly from my vast knowledge of But if I’ve left anything out, why you just ask me specific questions and I’ll tackle them one by one, but I believe I’ve hit the main points….”

From Inwood said...

Prof A: Why do you remind me of The Court Jester where Danny Kaye has to remember where the poison is:

Danny Kaye: But, did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel with the pestle?

Mildred Natwick: Noooo, the pellet with the poison is in the flagon with the dragon, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

Danny Kaye: The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.

From Inwood said...

Quick, Professor Higgins, Er, Althouse, I think I \'ve got it.

In the future the DNC will have subtitles appear when Joe The Biden speaks so that everyone will know what he is supposed to have said when he mumbled something in Delaware-ese or Scranton-ese, or Biden-ese.

Darrell said...

I'd say he needs a translator on stage to clarify things, but it would be cruel to hire someone for such a temporary position.

Astro said...

Sorry, too late. You can't through out the red flag and ask for an official review 8 stories later. Gaffe stands as called.

Cosmic Conservative said...

Just imagine if it has been Dan Quayle or GW Bush who had done this...

Edwin den Boer said...

A nice comment from 'krogerfoot' at Language Log: "Ann Althouse is exactly right - and believe me when I say that I feel physical pain typing those words."

RecChief said...

so is it really that much of a misquotation when my midwestern ears hear it (wonder of instant communications) and you hvae to drag out a spectrograh to prove you're right?

gadfly said...

Perhaps Language Log can decipher these infamous Ted Kennedy soundbites that Rush has never figured out.

From Inwood said...

Gadfly

For Ted Kennedy, you'd need a Jameson's Graph.