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Front Page of the Houston Chronicle, Wed., Nov. 5, 2008
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Yes, We Can

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Palin????? It would seem the Republicans have a death wish or something.  Maybe that’s not fair.

That’s the instant message I received from my dad the moment she was confirmed as McCain’s VP choice. She’s an interesting pick, no doubt, but I can’t see her helping their campaign in the way they seem to think. When she spoke, Palin thanked Ferraro and Hillary for paving the way for her. What about Shirley Chisholm running for President in 1972?  I think she missed an opportunity there. Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to them to have mentioned and thanked Chisholm too? Then when she mispronounced “nuclear” just like Bush, I think McCain flinched a bit.

On the other hand, Obama’s speech at the DNC was amazing.

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Adjective. Tending to cause disagreement or discord.

It certainly causes disagreement and discord with me! With Bush as Texas Governor and then President, I’m used to mispronunciation of words in his speeches, but since Obama’s words are usually so eloquent, his pronunciation of “divisive” in his speech on race in America weeks ago as though it were “divissive” caught my attention. I didn’t mention it then and thought perhaps he just misspoke, but he repeated it within the same speech and since at other times. Just now, watching MSNBC Live, news correspondent Andrea Mitchell pronounced “divisiveness” the same way! Thinking maybe I’ve been mispronouncing variations of this word my entire life, I checked my online dictionary pronunciation guides, including any available audio. Even British audio indicates a long i sound, and only Merriam-Webster offers the alternate “short i” pronunciation as though the word were spelled “divissive.”

Will public speakers all be afraid to sound stupid now if they don’t adopt this alternate, but less popular pronunciation? I’m “dividded” on this issue. You’ve let me down, Webster.

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A More Perfect Union

This is a speech that will be remembered.

Transcript

Edit (20 Mar 2008): Apparently others think so too.

Has any major U.S. politician in modern times ever given a speech about race in America as unflinching, human and ultimately hopeful as the one Barack Obama delivered yesterday? Whether or not the speech satisfies critics of Mr. Obama’s close relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, this remarkable address was one for the history books.

(Editorial: The Obama speech, Dallas Morning News, Wed., Mar. 19, 2008)

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