Mitt Romney’s Adverb Addiction

During a recent interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Mitt Romney commented on President Barack Obama’s remark about dealing with Russia on a missile defense. President Obama was caught on an open microphone telling Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” after the election.

Romney stated, “Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility, where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very, very troubling, very alarming,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “I’m very, very concerned.”

Voters who are highly educated and who understand the impact our next Presidential election will have on the future of our country and the world should be concerned as well. They should be concerned that someone who wants to be the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, and who attended Stanford, Brigham Young, and Harvard Universities must use the word VERY five times in the last nine words of the statement.

I do not know about the professors under whom Romney studied, but had I submitted any papers needlessly padded with very, very, very…I would have received an “F.” Adding adverbs to extend the length of a statement or paper does not add anything to the credibility of what was written. If anything, it weakens the argument being made.

The basic purpose of writing, or of public speaking, is to convey ideas in a strong and believable way. If you have something to say that matters, you say it. If you have a point to make that is important, you make it. When you are lying, or when you are unsure your words will carry enough weight because you are deemed either a lightweight or untrustworthy, you exaggerate. You write in ALL CAPS. You repeat certain words like “very” over and over to make sure people got the point you were making.

Everyone listening got the point Mr. Romney. Just like when we heard you say that you were “severely conservative,” whatever the heck that means. You think the President was wrong, that he is weak and a liberal, and that you can do better.

Despite being typecast as the king of horror, Stephen King is one of the finest literary talents of our time. King once wrote a book on how to write a book, titled On Writing.

In it, King wrote: “Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind…. With adverbs, the writer usually tells us…that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.”

Based on the unnecessary proliferation of adverbs, that sure sounds like Mitt Romney to me.

King opined later in that chapter that adverbs were “the literary equivalent of dandelions on your lawn.”

Perhaps Mitt Romney needs a new gardener, or a new speechwriter. After all, he does like firing people.

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