Thinking Out Loud

October 1, 2008

Don’t Show Me A Transcript, Send Me a Video Link

Filed under: Christianity, election, issues — Tags: , , , , — searchlightevents @ 5:19 pm

Christianity Today’s election blog features a transcript of a media interview with Sarah Palin that discussed her views on topics most likely to be informed by her Christian beliefs.   Frankly, the transcript doesn’t read all that well.   One person posted a comment which described it as “a blizzard of words that make not sense whatsoever … the individual words appear to be English, but strung together they are giberish.”

I thought that deserved a response:

Sometimes transcripts are the worst. You don’t think when you’re THE SPEAKER that your words are going to be transcribed and what that’s going to look like. But READING transcripts is also the worst. You miss the inflection, the gestures, the whole timing and tenor of what the speaker really said. You can have a transcript that reads one way, when in fact those who heard and saw the speech would say that the meaning went the other way.

You’ve got interviewers who are trying to keep things concise, respecting the economy of airtime; while at the same time the speaker is trying to flesh out and qualify their remarks with a series of subordinate clauses. You’ve got interviewers who want to see a good headline; who want to see the story in black and white terms; and a speaker who is still thinking on their feet trying to formulate their answer even as they’re talking.

Instead, the whole process should be done on blogs! Seriously! Or some other written format. Spoken English is so terribly deficient, as Sarah Palin so capably demonstrates.

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