Saturday, June 2, 2012

Defending Mick

I'm not a fan of Rep. Mick Mulvaney's politics and policy positions, but I do like the man. Even if I didn't like him, I'd have attest to the fact that not only is he intelligent, but also, a recent report to the contrary, a good public speaker.

A study cited in a story by James Rosen, the excellent Washington beat reporter for my paper's parent company, McClatchy Newspapers, analyzed and rated the speech patterns and grammar proficiency of members of Congress (see the link) and Mick graded out as speaking on an 8th-grade level.

Study: Mulvaney's speeches least advanced in Congress

I've been around my share of 8th graders and unless there's a particularly articulate study group Mick is being compared to, I'm just not getting it. I've seen him address a crowd and I've talked to him in private. There are educators and CEOs I've talked to who don't speak as well.

Now, maybe he's losing points for being colloquial and if that's so, it's unfair. His views may be stuck in the 1950s, but you can't fault the guy for adopting 21st century lingo. Communication evolves. Language evolves.

You can throw around the king's English all you want, but what's the use if nobody's listening?

Mick called the study "hogwash." I agree.

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