08 November 2006


As a footnote to last night, I'd like to articulate my thoughts on how articulation effects public election.

IMO, Al Weed was, by far, the most articulate candidate in the state of Virginia, but I've been naysayed by many people (and not just at yesterday's polls), who thought that either Goode or Oddo were more articulate. So, for an exercise in semantics, I thought I'd analyze their stylistic differences under this one word's usage.

First, we need an agreed-upon definition -- we'll use Merriam-Webster's:
Function: adjective
1a: divided into syllables or words meaningfully arranged : INTELLIGIBLE
b: able to speak
c: expressing oneself readily, clearly, or effectively (an articulate teacher); also: expressed in this manner (an articulate argument)
2a: consisting of segments united by joints : JOINTED (articulate animals)
b: distinctly marked off

Function: verb
1a: to give clear and effective utterance to : put into words (articulate one's grievances)
b: to utter distinctly (articulating each note in the musical phrase)
c: to give definition to (as a shape or object) (shades of gray were chosen to articulate different spaces -- Carol Vogel)
d: to give shape or expression to (as a theme or concept) (a drama that uses eerie props to articulate a sense of foreboding)
2a: to unite by or as if by means of a joint : JOINT
b: to form or fit into a systematic whole (articulating a program for all school grades)

Weed: IMO, he was the most articulate orator because he was the best of the 3 candidates at fitting his various platform planks into a systematic whole (verb, def. 2b) and therein communicating to the voter a strong sense of his overriding policy and ethics.

Goode: Others have said Goode was the most articulate orator because he gave the strongest expression of his individual points (adjective, def. 1c): E.g., Immigration = hates; Gays = hates; Earmarks = likes.

Oddo: Surprisingly (to me), a couple of people have even remarked that Oddo was, ITO, the most articulate of the 3 candidates, because his speeches were concise, stayed on message, and were united in theme (poss. adjective, def. 1a or verb, def. 1a/2a).

I guess articulation depends on how much the individual expects from a candidates' communication skills. Fortunately, votes themselves are more black and white.

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