A lot was made on Twitter of Helen Watley’s appearance on Sky TV this morning. The claim by some distractors was that Whatley was saying that the government could blame scientists for mistakes made in the COVID-19 policy. Within ten… Continue Reading →
In spoken discourse, we can usually predict when our conversational partner is about to finish a turn by listening to their intonation. This is not always successful, however, as demonstrated by the following clip in which a TV host assumes… Continue Reading →
Hesitation, Equivocation and Pausing Unveiling the micro-world of political rhetoric and spin £2.99 (eBook) /£10 (paperback) on Amazon Every day we are bombarded with political rhetoric in the form of interviews, debates and statements from our political leaders and commentators,… Continue Reading →
Political interviewers like to pretend that they are are asking genuine questions to their political guests. But sometimes it is revealed all too clearly that their questions are really designed to try and steer the guest towards a particular answer.
Andrew Neil interviewed Jeremy Corbyn on BBC television tonight. Neil is a forensic interviewer who usually pins his interviewees down to exact words and syllables. But Corbyn is know for his own brand of stubbornness, and there was one wonderful… Continue Reading →
Politicians often get accused of not answering questions but sometimes they fight back as Andy McDonald did on Friday.
Brexit has not only changed the political landscape but has also given rise to a number of new species in the Homo genus according to scientists. Here is a quick run through some of the newcomers.
Interruptions at PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) are recorded in Hansard in a limited way, usually through the insertion of the word ‘[Interruption.]’ and are often followed by the Speaker’s call to order. The house however is collective body and background… Continue Reading →
In a previous post I have argued that the house is a multi-faceted chamber with comments and background noise from members of the chamber combining with the current speaker to create a multi-modal discourse act. This is particularly important during Prime Minister’s… Continue Reading →
John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, likes to pick up on members who ‘chunter from a sedentary position’ – a slightly politer, and perhaps archaic, way of saying ‘shut up and stop muttering’.
Certain words in the House of Commons are normally taboo but sometimes it is possible to get away with using them by quoting someone and asking for ‘leave’ from The Speaker.
Political commentators and journalists all have their own idiosyncratic styles when interviewing politicians. Emily Maitlis, the BBC Newsnight commentator, often shows exasperation and incredulity in her voice through sweeping intonation falls and facial expressions. Here is a brief analysis to… Continue Reading →
Michael Gove, Conservative MP, serves up some curious hand gestures while speaking including teacup gestures and steeple Vulcans. Here are some of the more interesting examples from his interview on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.
Editor: The BBC’s Question Time programme on Thursday nights seems to court controversy these days as we hold it to ever more stringent impartiality standards. In this blog, Elena Ioannidou dissects the discourse that this programme produces from a CA perspective…. Continue Reading →
Editor: This is part 2 of the blog on the BBC Question Time programme. Part 1 is here.
Conversation can sometimes be like a game of poker, raising and doubling stakes, as the Andrew Marr Show demonstrated on Sunday.