How to Talk Like Trump

Last March, Yahoo News provided a noteworthy examination of “Donald Trump’s speech patterns.”

how-to-talk-like-trump

In writing about Trump’s unique speaking style, Andrew Romano noted, “It’s not just his pungent Queens accent; it’s not just his short, simple, fourth-grade-level sentences. It’s the novel syntax. The free-form grammar. The repetitive cadence. The eccentric phrasing.”

Romano discovered that Trump’s peculiar “patois” is probably deliberate and “has developed into a remarkably effective delivery mechanism for his message.” He cites five “linguistic quirks” that stand out.

Trump’s first stand-out speaking trait is “digression” – his inability be laser-focused on any given thought at any given time. His constant meandering includes revisions, amendments, and contradictions. As Romano notes, “Even his parentheticals have parentheticals.”

Endless repetition is another Trumpian hallmark. Romano writes: “He repeats phrases one after the other, often in the same sentence – not as deliberate parallelism but as a compulsive placeholder.”

A third attribute, intensifiers, builds upon an entire spectrum of hyperbole and superlatives to which he adds intensive modifiers. “Trump’s addiction to hyperbole goes deeper than superlatives,” writes Romano, adding, “it also permeates the little words he uses to modify his adjectives and adverbs.”

Informality is yet another distinctive trait. Romano writes, “It’s not just his public use of the S word, the F wordthe A word and the P word.” “Trump’s informality extends beyond vulgarity and disrespect.”

Finally, Trump tends to end his thoughts with punchlines. As Romano observes, “Trump speaks more like a comedian, making sure to go out with a bang. In fact, he often rearranges the beginning of his sentences awkwardly so he can end strong.”

In the end, Trump is a salesman and his product is himself. He uses these speaking traits to connect with his marks and sell himself, an endeavor in which he has triumphed.

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