Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fatuous oratory?

In the wake of the first 2016 presidential election debates, I'm seeing my Facebook feed explode with opinions and impressions.  Lots of people are commenting about what they saw and heard in the debates last night.  I, of course, was blissfully slumbering when the head to head verbal battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump occurred.

I generally don't read a lot of political stuff, mainly because it's often offensive and irritating.  I figure I have enough things irritating me in my daily life.  Hell, if I get irritated by coffee and beer, I probably ought to stay away from the really controversial stuff like politics, right?

I did happen to skim over one Facebook friend's impressions, though, and I couldn't help but shake my head.  What had me sighing in disbelief and reaching for my smelling salts was his description of a long diatribe someone posted about Hillary Clinton.  I didn't take the time to read the diatribe, for it was much too long and not something I really cared to read.  I simply noticed that my friend wrote this...

I respect your opinion my friend.  But will lend your above stated oratory to support my point.  Just like your candidate, you ramble on and on and on, without saying a word.  That is what concerns me with your candidate and many of you who support him.  That being said, I do respect your fatuous oratory, and your right to have and state your opinion.  However, we shall agree to disagree and let the best candidate to lead us win in November.

Friends, do you know what oratory is?  I do.  It's a word I learned in the 10th grade.  According to Dictionary.com, oratory is defined:


1.  skill or eloquence in public speaking:

The evangelist moved thousands to repentance with his oratory.

2.  the art of public speaking, especially in a formal and eloquent manner.

Now, given that this was a written post on Facebook and not a speech, it cannot accurately be called "oratory".  The word oratory denotes the spoken word, rather than the written word.  Moreover, my friend goes on to describe the "oratory" as "fatuous".  The word fatuous is another I learned in high school.  It is so defined:


1. foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly.

2. unreal; illusory.

While I suppose someone's oratory could be fatuous, it seems highly unlikely.  The definition of oratory implies that the speaker would be skilled.  But then, I guess a person can be a poor orator.  Or a person can be a gifted speaker who says stupid things. 

In any case, in the post in question, I highly doubt the person who supposedly is guilty of "fatuous oratory" actually wrote the diatribe she posted about Hillary Clinton.  It looked to me like she'd cut and pasted it from somewhere else-- probably a mass email.  So even if the post was stupid and had been spoken, they weren't actually the poster's words but another person's.  In other words, it wasn't my Facebook friend's Facebook friend's "fatuous oratory".  Clear enough?

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this and I know I need to both get a life and not be so nit picky.  I just tend to be very particular about words.  I read a lot and write a lot and, whenever I am unsure of something's spelling or definition, I get out my dictionary.  Now that dictionaries are online, it's faster and easier than ever.

I'm not going to comment directly on this person's post, by the way.  I doubt it would be appreciated.  Usually, when people say or write things like "fatuous oratory", they are trying to sound smart.  Calling him out in public isn't likely to be met in a spirit of fun.  Since I highly doubt the guy pays any attention to this blog, it's probably best if I simply vent here.

In other news, this election has probably been the most obnoxious in my lifetime.  Thank God I'm not in the States to experience it directly.