Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin's voice coach

Well, the big linguablogging Palin update is clearly Bill Poser's Log post on moose, source of her favorite burgers. But since nobody else has mentioned it that I know of, here's a fresh language angle, from the Sunday NYT magazine piece on McCain, starting after Palin's speech at the GOP convention:

While all of this was going on, an elegant middle-aged woman sat alone at the far end of the bar. She wore beige slacks and a red sweater, and she picked at a salad while talking incessantly on her cellphone. But for the McCain/Palin button affixed to her collar and the brief moment that Tucker Eskew, Palin’s new counselor, spoke into her ear, she seemed acutely disconnected from the jubilation swelling around her.

In fact, the woman was here for a reason. Her name was Priscilla Shanks, a New York-based stage and screen actress of middling success who had found a lucrative second career as a voice coach. Shanks’s work with Sarah Palin was as evident as it was unseen. Gone, by the evening of her convention speech, was the squeaky register of Palin’s exclamations. Gone (at least for the moment) was the Bushian pronunciation of “nuclear” as “nook-you-ler.” Present for the first time was a leisurely, even playful cadence that signaled Sarah Palin’s inevitability on this grand stage.

Interesting little tidbit, whatever conclusions one can really draw from her having had a voice coach. Also see this post.

3 comments:

The Stranded Preposition said...

The list of things the NYT article notes as coachable are either a) things we heard in the veep talk (in which case the coaching failed) or b) things that the GOP identified as things the left didn't like about GWB's speech (in which case the coach and handlers were misguided). Seems like the RNC lost money on the coach otherwise why would the general public label Palin's veep debate speech patterns as vernacular and Upper Midwestern.

I say, let Mr. Verb give Palin some speech coaching!

WordPorn said...

Wow. Palin. Voice coaching. Did the coach teach her to sound like a folksy jackass? As the most recent SNL sketch with Tina Fey says, Palin "like[s] to think I'm one part practiced folksy, one part sassy and a little dash of high school bitchy."

Well done, strange vocal coach. Well done.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Well, to be fair, we (at least I) have no idea what she sounded like before. Not that I'm interested enough to go hunting for audio...