Robin Lakoff on Silent Debates

Robin Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, said that when she turns down the volume and just watches Bush and Kerry, "it clarifies why Bush is more effective. He has the nonverbal stuff, the facial expressions and gestures." He furrows his brows, he seems to look through the camera to make eye contact, she says.

Kerry, by contrast, "really has no facial expression," says Lakoff. "He just talks. ... I think Kerry's long sentences and lack of intonation and facial expression say, 'Yes, I'm very smart but I'm kind of phoning it in."'
An interesting take Prof. Lakoff takes on the presidential debates. I may very well take that take myself if I happen to surf through when the debates are on--that is, with the volume off.


Blogger Raychill007 said...

Writing my thesis at the moment and am at that stage where anything is more interesting that the topic itself (The Negation of Metaphor: A Psycholinguistic Analysis), and I've been wondering whether George and Robin Lakoff are married or what the story is? They have the same uncommon name, they both research in linguistics/metaphor, and they lecture at the same university. Anyone know?

10:46 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

George and Robin were married a long time ago. I found your comment while trying to find her maiden name, specifically, whether "Tolmach" is her middle name or her maiden name. Woops. She'd probably prefer I called it her "birth name." Make sense, though, really.

4:22 AM  

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