syllabus for syllable?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 23 21:47:55 UTC 2011

I got this from a comment on a TPM post alleging Rick Perry's toying
with birtherism.
> Was that a verbatim transcript? What's up with his one syllabus (or
> close) answers? Is that how he interviews -- like pulling teeth?

I would have thought "syllabus" to be less accessible than "syllable",
but people say strange things.

I presume the claim of monosyllabic answers implies that Perry is using
a monosyllabic speech pattern, but I am not sure why this would be an
unusual thing in an interview.

The exact breakdown from the transcript is 50-10-5-2 for a 1.39 average
with about 75% monosyllabic. The total for the interview is
706-161-58-21-3-2 for a 1.38 average with about 74% monosyllabic (some
might have been judgment calls or just plain miscounts, but that would
not amount to more than 1% difference). The answers in this segment
/are/ considerably shorter than in the rest of the interview.

I don't think either average is particularly out of line in this
context. Experts might know better--I haven't run any comparisons. But
there is a definite "short answers=dumb" meme among the left
commentariat. Of course, they are mum on the "syllabus" for "syllable"


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list