September 04, 2004

Words and ideas

Mark's post from earlier today about Lakoff, frames and messages links to his post from earlier this summer about Lakoff, ideas and words. This reminded me that I've been meaning to blog about the Republican National Convention.

OK, not really about the RNC. What I've been meaning to blog about is something from NPR's coverage of the RNC; specifically, a short (20-30 sec.) ad leading up to the actual live coverage.

(At this point we're relying entirely on my fallible memory; I haven't had time to see if I can find a clip of the ad online. Sorry. Please correct me if I get any of this wrong.)

The ad featured clips from presidential candidate nomination acceptance speeches (how's that for a compound) at different National Conventions. (Both parties were represented; I think I remember hearing JFK anyway.) There are a few voice-over words at the beginning, I think, and then it ends something like this:

Hear these same words spoken again during our live coverage of the Republican National Convention.

These same words? Ideas, concepts, frames, messages ... these are generally expressed with words, so why not let PITS conflate the distinction? I'd like to add a modest argument to Mark's call to honor the distinction. Consider the following pairs of phrases.

  1. a man of many words
  2. a man of many ideas
  3. a man of few words
  4. a man of few ideas

Which of these men would you vote for?

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at September 4, 2004 12:22 PM