8 de febrero de 2015

60 tweets on “Political Tone: How Leaders Talk & Why”

  1. Tone is not everything but is also not nothing (228)
  2. Tone is a message about a message–that which is implied by that which is said (233)
  3. Tone is a meta-message, a way of saying something about one’s relationships (221)
  4. Tone is a tool people use (sometimes unwittingly) to create distinct social impressions via word choice (9)
  5. People use words to make impressions on other people (4)
  6. Certain words, when drawn upon often enough, leave people with shared but often elusive perceptions of others (10)
  7. The appearance of predictable words can even predispose audiences to the acceptability of a case (10)
  8. Presidents are reminded on a daily basis –trough press reports, trough public opinion polls– that power goes to those who relate best to others (45)
  9. A modern presidency is a perpetual campaign (153)
  10. All tones have their consequences–some obvious, some subtle, and some not yet identified (11)
  11. Tone is irrepressible but often mysterious. People naturally senses its presence but struggle to explain it (11)
  12. Tone produces patterned expectations telling an audience something important about the author’s outlook on things (12)
  13. When a speaker chooses one word over another (consciously or unconsciously), both cognitive and affective resources are being drawn upon (12)
  14. Individuals rarely monitor their individual lexical decisions (13)
  15. Certainty indicates resoluteness, inflexibility, and completeness and a tendency to speak ex cathedra (14)
  16. When a politician argues that their words have been “taken out of context”, they describe the human condition: Context vanishes the moment it comes into existence (17)
  17. When decoding a message, people apply their personal histories-of-consumption to each new text (18)
  18. An endless cycle: politicians, words, politicians who make words, words that make news (25)
  19. The geometry of politics has many angles and that makes it easy to satirize (31)
  20. Politics also deals with life and death, and that makes it what it is–charming, irritating, inspiring, frustrating (31)
  21. Public words must suffice for all and, once spoken, they cannot be recalled (32)
  22. There is something about The Political that draws people to unadorned speech, to speech that accommodates others (38)
  23. Grand occasions demand grand rhetoric but, in the everyday world of politics, ordinary words will do (45)
  24. Abstract ideas have a short shelf live in the United States (46)
  25. John F. Kennedy: “Mothers all still want their favorite sons to grow up to be president, but (…) they don’t want to them to become politicians in the process” (49)
  26. Politicians use high levels of Realism to keep themselves grounded (52)
  27. Find a political text and you will find false dichotomies, euphemisms, and clichés galore (52)
  28. American people are a true contradiction–a pragmatic people in search of a useful transcendence (54)
  29. Politicians must trade the particular for the general, the electorate for the individual voter. To do their best work, politicians need altitude (57)
  30. To run for the presidency in the United States is to commit oneself to twenty-four months of pure dizziness (78)
  31. Americans want it all: to be old and new at the same time, to be alone, mostly, but neighborly when it suits them (86)
  32. Americans do not like to be told what to do except when the pressure is on; then they want answers yesterday, not today (86)
  33. Time is an omnipresent resource for the politician, especially when more tangible bounties like money, land, or influence are in short supply (99)
  34. Cahoone’s: “The experience of neighborhood is the fundamental civic experience” (100)
  35. Place is central to politics precisely because people live there (101)
  36. The press emphasizes time, and voter’s space; the candidates are obeisant to both. Is this “betweenness” that makes politicians unique (105)
  37. Provincialism or presentism? Tradition or modernity? American politicians wrestle constantly with these tonal options (105)
  38. The key political problem with space, of course, is its finitude. While time unfolds endlessly, land just sits there, locked between oceans (106)
  39. Politics is about more things than place but it is always and everywhere about place (106)
  40. Radio has endured because it preserves the I-touch character of human relationships (114)
  41. Clinton demonstrated throughout his life that he could manage almost any situation with words (135)
  42. Once a president’s popular image is established, it resists contradiction (170)
  43. Research has shown that media reportage is much more pessimistic than political discourse, and reliably so (175)
  44. Barack Obama inhabits this region of the unknown-known, this space of incipience (179)
  45. The office made Obama more oracular–not really a pontificator, not yet a demagogue, but a man becoming accustomed to speaking axiology (184)
  46. Researchers have shown that female candidates typically receive less coverage that men (197)
  47. Third parties are so often personality centered rather that philosophically based (211)
  48. Parataxis [of Ms. Palin] signals a speaker’s “urgency… to express” themselves and builds “instant identification and empathy” with an audience (200)
  49. Parataxis is not a formula for political success (213)
  50. Extreme ambition alone cannot sustain a career (213)
  51. Some corporations are performing “tone checks” of email prior to issuance to keep senders from being embarrassed by what they have written (219)
  52. Knutson: “The objective study of subjectivity will transform the academy and the world beyond” (219)
  53. Leaders use tone to get things done that would be otherwise hard to do (219)
  54. A deft tone can help a nation establish its identity and bridge its ideological divides (220)
  55. When politicians hit the wrong note, voter sometimes take it personally: “Why would he say such a thing in my presence?” (221)
  56. Tone is omni-functional. It conditions or qualifies what is being said and thus permits a kind of double-messaging (221)
  57. Tone is not an easy thing to describe but it is an easy thing to sense (233)
  58. Tone is especially important in governance, where the differences between political positions is often slight (230)
  59. Tone blends politics with humanity (233)
  60. Tones are relational, they send out important signals: “I am one of you.” “I am superior to you.” “We are better together.” (233)

Roderick P. Hart, Jay P. Childers, Colene J. Lind
Political Tone (How Leaders Talk & Why)The University of Chicago Press
Chicago 2013
293 pp.

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