The brown silt of words and the clever arrangement of syllables to sentences, allow a person to hide among the sounds they utter, meanwhile clouding the clear running water of their thoughts and beliefs. Language analysis is one way of sifting clear the liquid so we can see truly what is running beneath.
Hilary Clinton: I have a feeling that by the end of this evening. I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.
Donald Trump: Why not?
Hilary Clinton: Why not? Yeah. Why not? (laughter) You know, just, just join, join the debate by saying more crazy things. Now let me say this.
Donald Trump: There’s nothing crazy –
Hilary Clinton: It is absolutely—
Donald Trump: — about not letting our companies –
Hilary Clinton: –the case. It –
Donald Trump: –bring their money back into the economy.
Lester Holt: This is, this is Secretary Clinton’s two minutes, please.
Donald Trump: Yes.
In this scenario, we can observe Trump making a fatal mistake. By saying too much he plays directly into Clinton’s hands and leaves himself open to mockery. Unfortunately, for Trump, Clinton’s unruffled and even amused behaviour, leave his cheap jibes falling flat and himself humiliated.
It’s not your turn Donald
Twice in this extract, Trump is asked to allow Clinton to speak, as it is now her two minutes. Clinton first tries to change the subject and take the stage from Donald when she states ‘now let me say this.’ She attempts from here to launch into to her answer but once again is obstructed by Trump. He ceases only when the male presenter reminds him this is ‘Secretary Clinton’s two minutes.’
Trump shows a lack of respect for his opponent’s time. He ignores the guiding rules of how a debate is handled. Each candidate is given the same amount of airtime to speak to ensure no bias in the presidential proceedings. Trump shows little respect for this and is happy to continually talk above his opponent and fill up her time. When he is then picked up for this he offers no apology or remorse for his rudeness.
It was poor judgement on Trump’s behalf to treat his fellow candidate this way, given externally before the debate took place, sexual harassment accusations were being brought against him. His treatment of Clinton in this passage gives evidence to those who suspected Trump to be misogynist. He displays open ignorance to his opponent’s right to speak. In addition, he shows a bullying character in the attacks he is trying to lay up her; he is happy to agree everything is her fault; without any kid of evidence other than it is his opinion and he dislikes that she has spoken out against him.
Trump fails to acknowledge Clinton’s hint for him to stop talking and allow her to answer the question in the time she had. He listens and responds only to the male presenter than then repeats Clinton’s request a few lines later. So low is his opinion of women it seems, he feels it is deplorable that one should tell him what to do.
I would say his natural tendency to dominate a conversation between himself and a woman shows Trump possesses a very traditional and outdated mind set concerning gender roles. He believes men are free to say whatever; they are the ones capable of discussing ‘educational’ ‘sincere’ topics, the woman however is there only to respond and agree to what the male has said. Is his impoliteness showing us Trump does not care for turn taking in conversation because he is not taking the debate seriously, does he think it’s all joke? Because he cannot seriously consider that, a female is running for President. Is this why he speaks as if he is already President?
Trump is not a man of the modern world. He is narrow-minded and unable to see how society has progressed and developed. He is unwilling to learn how it has. For Trump, anything contending his beliefs is a threat. He is scared. He is worried that notions like gender equality emasculate him and so will take his power. This fear makes him angry and hateful. This does not bode well for a President that is required to work with a multitude of colleagues despite gender, race sexuality, nationality or age.
Many think that Trump’s interruptions show dominance and courage. However, I feel the timing of his interruption, following on from his two minutes and beginning only when Clinton is invited to respond, perhaps suggest he is insecure.
Language can both be used to communicate the identity of the speaker, but also to express our ideas in relation to the environment around us.
It is our way of understanding the world. Language and gender are two large topics that have many varying and interconnected relationships. The way we view something will affect how we address and refer to that subject.
What can be observed in these interactions is the difference in speech between Trump and Clinton, both of whom are competing against one another for power and for the respect of the audience they are addressing.
Trump prefers to use his language as an aggressor and as a form of attack and defamation for his opponent. Clinton uses her language to inform and correct and counter attack the statements being made by Trump.
While Trump demonstrates a more aggressive nature, positioning his assertiveness in form of bullying or insult; Clinton attempts to undermine Trump’s play and in a more subtle and reserved fashion is asserting her dominance.
Just how often did he actually interrupt Clinton?
The posts today have been about introducing the process of language analysis, and how they can infer underlying meanings and introspection into he texts and communications we engage with on a daily basis. It is an entirely subjective art relying on practiced tools of analysis but also on the personal inferences of the assessor.
It is not a certain art, and many can argue the many different points and suggestions to be found in the language choice of an individual. However there is still insight and worth to be gained from this methodology even if it only shows us the hidden depths and uses in our communications and language