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September 14, 2007

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"The other thing that were also gonna' try to do"

This is the correct grammatical transcription of Bush's speech, not Obama's. "Gonna"???

"And if were able to get that passed, and get sixty votes for that, then at least that would put a ceiling on how many troops could be sent there at any given time. So those are some of the approaches that were gonna' try to take even before George Bush leaves office, but all that is going to require some pressure from all of you on our senators and your congressman, you know, who are really important."

So sick of this stupid war.
This sounds so defensive, esp. all the "we're going to try to"s. (Btw, you're a senator, Senator Obama - you don't mean to be calling yourself important.)

"And if were able to get that passed, and get sixty votes for that, then at least that would put a ceiling on how many troops could be sent there at any given time. So those are some of the approaches that were gonna' try to take even before George Bush leaves office, but all that is going to require some pressure from all of you on our senators and your congressman, you know, who are really important."

So sick of this stupid war.
This sounds so defensive, esp. all the "we're going to try to"s. (Btw, you're a senator, Senator Obama - you don't mean to be calling yourself important.)

Bizarre - "So sick etc." was meant to follow "This sounds". Yes, the baby did wake up very early this morning, and yes, it's past time to go to sleep.

Hmm: I took 'important' to mean not 'a great high muckety-muck', but 'important for getting something like this passed.'

The apostrophes are there to point out that he doesn't speak, you know, proper English. I should imagine that the original draft also included the occasional "Lawdamercy!" and "sho'nuff" but these were removed on the grounds of not being quite subtle enough.

'I should imagine that the original draft also included the occasional "Lawdamercy!" and "sho'nuff" but these were removed on the grounds of not being quite subtle enough.'

That was my first thought too - but the transcript comes from the Obama campaign.


Saying "Congresscritters are important for getting stuff passed" is up there with ballplayers saying "we need to score some runs".

I don't understand why it would be any more appropriate to transcribe Bush's speech with "gonna" than Obama's. But then I'm not that bothered by the transcription anyway (except for the insane apostrophes).

If the speaker actually pronounces "going to" as "gonna" (as the majority of Americans probably do at least some of the time), then transcribing it that way doesn't seem like an illegitimate decision. I wouldn't expect the transcriber to expand contractions like "we're" and "doesn't" into "we are" and "does not", and keeping "gonna" doesn't seem that different (though I wouldn't be bother by consistently writing "going to" either).

'I don't understand why it would be any more appropriate to transcribe Bush's speech with "gonna" than Obama's.'

Because Bush can't talk, and Obama can; and because it's part of Bush's schtick to say "nucular" and so forth - part of his "I'm a multimillionaire but I'm a regular Murican like you" stance. If Obama has such a policy I'll be dumbfounded.

Speaking as someone who has read about a billion news transcripts, they're almost always full of odd obvious errors, and choices. Generally speaking, the quality is uniformly rather low; it's almost guaranteed that homophones are switched, names misspelled, or not even recognized as names or proper nouns, words entirely misunderstood, and for punctuation to be haphazard, and occasionally seemingly outright random. (This can, of course, change meaning.)

They're all choices of the individual transcriber, many of whom clearly just aren't as good as they should or could be.

In any given transcription situation, it's impossible to know from the outside whether a specific guideline was given or followed, but in most cases it's at least as likely that it's simply a case of that transcriber's idiosyncrasies.

Oh, and when I was young, I spent a lot of time making transcriptions from recordings and dictation (depositions, particularly).

Second what Gary says. Transcription is really damn hard. (I've done a fair bit, not for publication or release though). I've also read a bunch of official court transcripts, which often have errors in them. "Gonna" is minor.

'is up there with ballplayers saying "we need to score some runs".'

Or, in the Yankees' case, their pitchers need to get some outs, or George Steinbrenner is gonna have a stroke and Joe Torre is gonna get fired, and some players are gonna be traded. It's not going to be pretty.

For me, the journalistic malpractice is sticking a microphone in a player's face and asking: "What went wrong during this homestand?"

I would prefer the player give the journalist a good hard stare and maybe dump some well-chilled Gatorade down his or her front.

As to Obama, I think he wants to remain a cipher and appear profound at the same time, especially this early in the campaign, though the campaign has been going on for so long that it could be said to be "late". Unfortunately, what comes out sometimes is mush, though the same sort of mush that got Chance in "Being There" so far.

Yeah, I know he has specific votes and position papers.

Fred Thompson is trying the same thing with a cigar thrown in --- sort of a ruthless vacuity.

The feral (I borrow from Jackmormon) apos'trophe's' are weird. It would be nice to hear an explanation from the handler who transcribed Obama's words.

But then I would like to hear an explanation from the Clinton campaign as to why she speaks in such a strident monotone. She sounds like Benjamin Stein doing a Margaret Thatcher imitation.

I'd be proud to work for Obama, and I try to take pride in my work, so if I was going to send his words to Kos to be published on a billboard, I'd take the two minutes necessary to put my candidate's transcribed words into the grammatical and standard form befitting his intellect and rhetorical strength.

That was

"The feral (I borrow from Jackmormon) apos'trophe's' are weird."

No weirder than using other than a three-dot ellipsis, or four-dot ellipsis-and-period.

:-)

(Really, they're exactly not.)

"...if I was going to send his words to Kos to be published on a billboard, I'd take the two minutes necessary...."

If I were going to allow any transcript from my organization, that wasn't some sort of emergency piece of information where five minutes, or half an hour, of effort on cleaning up easily fixed errors and ambiguities (many verbal utterances are simply genuinely ambiguous, of course, given how awkwardly and stumblingly most people speak), wouldn't make a crucial difference, to be released, I'd take those minutes to make that effort, simply on the general principle of making the product more useful, and of better quality and clarity.

To be sure, in some situations, it's less than practical, such as if thousands of pages of transcriptions of some sort are released at once.

But in most cases, it's a case of various companies not wanting to invest the extra money in spending even a few minutes with every transcript per day (and possibly hiring additional copyeditors to make a second pass), given the cumulative bulk involved.

If there's a significant market for producing higher quality work here, it seems to be obscured.

But, then, to be sure, the quality of copy-editing in what appears both in actual print, and in online versions of stories from major daily publications, is generally quite low, so it's hardly surprising that there's almost no care taken with mere transcripts.

I sure hope there's something similar going on with the HRC campaign calling for an undivided Jerusalem, because that's an awful policy.

If it's ever my lot to decide what happens to jerusalem, here's what I'll do.

Map out the city borders, and cut off little extrusions and add little sections to make it a nice smooth defensible border. A unified jerusalem.

And then give the whole thing to the UN. They can put the UN headquarters there, it doesn't really belong in NYC.

And it would serve them all right.

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