Monday, 19 May 2008

How many times can a politician avoid answering the question?

Well, in this infamous interview of Michael Howard by Jeremy Paxman in 1997, the answer is twelve. The language of politics is a fascinating arena for language study. Most politicians are skilled in the art of manipulating language, usually (oh cynic that I am) to serve their own career driven interests. On this ocassion the effect is quite comic. Paxman later revealed that he only kept asking the question because he wanted to waste a bit of time before starting the next item.

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