Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If Lincoln had blogged on Inauguration Day…

…he would not have found Obama’s language overly familiar. For despite what some were expecting, President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was not an echo of Lincolnian cadences. But what Lincoln would have recognized in Obama was a shared mastery in turning words into deeds.

Once upon a time that seems not to matter now, these barely-known candidates from Illinois were dismissed as being no more than adroit wordsmiths. But both have shown that carefully considered words can yield hoped-for actions. The right words, in the right hands, become instruments of power.

Had Lincoln blogged, he might have commented on the transformative power of Barack Obama’s inaugural words. Almost instantly, they put into motion a national mindset of we, the people, together, we can.

In Obama’s good words rest good deeds poised to be done—the kinds of actions that elicit in Americans what Lincoln might have called “the better angels of our nature.”

Granted, it’s just a beginning. But what a way to begin anew.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I’ll have whatever Calista Flockhart is having

Am I the only person who had never heard the term “brain sex” until Kitty (Calista Flockhart) said it to her husband, Robert (Rob Lowe) on TV’s “Brothers and Sisters”?

If I understood her correctly, it means the kind of verbal sparring that occurs when two people speak to one another on a subject they care about in animated, intelligent, lucid, lively, bright, colorful and descriptive sentences.

We word lovers have long known that words matter. Now there’s one more reason why being smart about your words can make you happy.