My media week 24/01/09

Geoff Nunberg, who teaches linguistics at Berkeley, analyses Barack Obama’s inauguration speech listening for plyptotons and catachresis. He also looks at other speeches and speakers. Here is the transcript.


Heard on CNN:

Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen, watching Obama sign official papers yesterday in the Oval Office:

BLITZER: And if you’ve ever seen Barack Obama’s signature, he is very precise when he writes, and it’s and if he writes, he scribbles some words before he signs an autograph, for example. His penmanship, I must say — and I’ve seen it — is really excellent.

GERGEN: He’s got a little flourish to that signature.

BLITZER: He has a great flourish. And it’s very impressive.



With so many people attending Obama’s inauguration  Slate had a look at How do you measure a crowd?


In this article John Kay argues that banks should go back to what they know best. Here is taster:

To think that today’s market conditions are exceptional, and that yesterday’s euphoria represented a normal state of affairs, is a fundamental misconception. On the contrary: in market equilibrium, opaque products sell with difficulty and at a discount. A barrel of apples whose quantity and quality can only be guessed at should sell for less than the combined value of the apples, and does. There was never an economic rationale for structured products on the scale on which the financial services industry created them. They were the result of a frenetic search for commissions and bonuses.

For the rest of the article go here.






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