blog postsNoah the Lexicographer finds Republican candidates' words lack . . . definitionOct 29, 2008 11:15 pm838 views The Chicago Tribune is one of several news outlets running stories on the words that candidates have been using during the current presidential campaign, which is scheduled to end on election day next Tuesday, unless, of course, there's another problem with the ballots in Florida.The semantics of politics: defining the real "real" AmericaOct 22, 2008 11:30 pm764 views The real meaning of the word "real" in the phrase real America became a focus of the presidential campaign this week after Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a North Carolina rally that some parts of the country are more real than others. Palin said, "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation." Although Palin later apologized for this remark, which suggests that the parts of America not on her campaign tour aren't real and certainly aren't pro-American, she went on to tell a crowd at Findlay University, in Ohio, "The best of America is not gathered in Washington, D.C."Words don't lie, part IV: Candidates debate role of plumbers in the White HouseOct 16, 2008 1:00 pm3155 views Although the candidates did occasionally discuss substantive issues like school vouchers, abortion, and the principles they might use in selecting Supreme Court justices, the most riveting part of last night's third and final presidential debate, held at Long Island's Hofstra University, came when John McCain looked straight into the camera and asked the American people, "Why can't you ever get a plumber when you need one?"Noah Webster at 250: a visionary or a crackpot? After all, he brought us ax and plow, but also deef and bridegoomOct 15, 2008 12:47 am3200 views Noah Webster, America's first language patriot, was born Oct. 16, 1758. He turns 250 today.Guilt by association: My Sarah Palin number is 2. Does that mean I palled around with terrorists?Oct 13, 2008 9:43 pm818 views My Sarah Palin number is 2. That means I can never be president, which doesn't bother me, but it seriously reduces my street cred, since the vice presidential candidate stands for everything I've been satirizing for years.Words don't lie, part III: Campaign rhetoric gives way to campaign linguisticsOct 8, 2008 10:27 pm825 views Language has taken on a special prominence in the 2008 presidential election. It's customary for each side to malign the opposition for using words that are vague or deceptive, and even for lying outright nothing new there. But this time around it's Language with a big "L" that's also coming under scrutiny, the use of language as a whole, not just individual words unfairly spun or improperly deployed.Words don't lie, part II: Perception Analyzer reveals no Jack Kennedys at vice presidential debateOct 2, 2008 11:15 pm958 views .