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Obama Deploys Sentence Structure to World

A lot of people around the world have a lot of expectations for Barack Obama. We even started a page to share these hopes. But one thing the world’s English-learning population may not expect to get from Obama’s presidency but almost certainly will is improvements in their grammar.

When I was choosing which candidate to vote for, one of the things I asked myself was, “Who would I rather hear on the radio every day for the next four years?” And while the American president is certianly covered less-often in foreign media, there are still plenty of quotes and soundbites to be found around the world, I’m sure.

But this hilarious satire column by Andy Borowitz got me thinking about how confusing the last eight must have been for people who are learning English. How many ESL students are out there mispronouning “nuclear” courtesy of George W. Bush?

And when, as a native speaker, I sometimes struggle to follow Sarah Palin’s sentence structure, I can’t help but wonder how many more gerunds would have been misused if she and John McCain had won (see the Palin quote at the end of Borowitz’s article for pretty realistic represtation of the Alaska Governor’s passion for misplaced -ings).

So, the world wanted Barack Obama to win the election by about a 60% percent margin. And even if you with the one-fifth of the world who liked John McCain better, you will likely Obama in part to thank when that Moroccan rug salesman haggles with you in complete sentences, or the business call from India is perfectly intelligible.

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One Response to “Obama Deploys Sentence Structure to World”

  1. Obama Deploys Sentence Structure To World | English, Baby! Blog Says:

    […] And when, as a native speaker, I sometimes struggle to follow Sarah Palin ’s sentence structure, I can’t help but wonder how many more gerunds would have been misused if she and John McCain had won (see the Palin quote at the end of …[Continue Reading] […]

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