As a teacher of the mother tongue–American, not British, English–I honor and appreciate those that truly speak well. I, a Texan, live in abject fear of saying “ya’ll,” and mortal fear of the double plural “ya’ll, ya’ll.” Every teaching day, I struggle to require of my students such exotica as consonants, so that instead of this: “eh ih ih auh oo?” they must say instead: “when is this paper due?”
When media talking heads–who usually speak from an orifice other than their pie-holes–proclaim Barack Obama the greatest orator since Demosthenes, I shake my head in frustration. Actually, they don’t make that comparison. Most have no idea who Demosthenes was, nor do they have a clue how to pronounce his name, so they don’t try. Take the link, if you please, to see what a great orator Mr. Obama isn’t.
But if you wish to see and hear a truly great orator, take this link to see a 13 minute speech by Conservative Briton Daniel Hannan. You’ll see what I mean, and perhaps have a renewed appreciation for logic, clarity, and sincerity. Think of it as a palette cleanser for the mind.