Tag: The Awl

Trump – understanding the pathology

The strangeness that is Trump seems an endless topic of conversation. Several months ago I wondered about early signs of dementia in “Is Trump Showing Signs of Ageing?” Ongoing I have wondered about his weird speech patterns. Over the last day I have come on three sources that shed further light on his pathology, well beyond the obvious pathologies of narcissism, self-aggrandizement, and endless lying.

Number 1Why the Trump Transcripts Are So Maddening to Read by Michael Erard in The Awl. Mr. Erard is a writer and linguist. He provides an interesting take on the structure of Trump’s language. 

This is the talking of someone with power, the sort of power that doesn’t come from consensus-building and organizing. We don’t really need a transcript to tell us this, but it’s there. Trump talks to occupy space and run down the clock. He’s prompted to speak by a question but rarely answers the question; he only has to talk long enough to execute his turn in the conversation before the questioner wrests it away. That’s the extent of the coherence. Otherwise, he cajoles, he lies, he brags, he cuts down, and the effect on the transcript reader is nowhere near what Trump can have intended.