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Catch of the Day: 9/11 and…

September 12, 2011

Pres. Obama spent the weekend offering serious remarks, but I find his August 27th weekly address the most interesting.  For one, instead of offering biblical imagery, he describes the courageous and commonplace acts of goodness by Americans.  He’s also upfront about our  economic turmoil and continuing wars.  But what’s most curious is his phrasing, in “service and remembrance” [@ 1:22] He hits that “and” pretty hard, don’t you think?  Sounds a bit … defensive.

Maybe defensiveness is not uncalled for, in light of the blowback his guidelines on commemorating 9/11 got.  But it sounds like Obama anticipates being called out for not remembering, what with all this service talk going on.  That would be a bizarre anticipation, I think, but then, … 24-hour news media.

This is a small point, no doubt, but delivery is one of the five ancient rhetorical canons.    Obama surely was pressed for time in these past weeks, but this was a taped speech.  If he hated how he said and, there’s always another take.  So why keep this one?  Why is it service and remembrance?

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