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Maybe it's not a cultural thing, but a style thing. I had to reread the last half-dozen diaries Jerome posted. He's fluent, and has idiom down pat. So neither of those are it.

His sentences though. The sentences are correct. The rule of thumb is that a sentence expresses a single, simple thought, and even in his longer sentences, Jerome's not missing this from what I see here. Even in his longest sentences, the subject-predicate-object relationship is always clear. His rhythm is a bit off for me though, and I think that's it. That, and I would expect more linking words than he uses in his longer (lots of those - more than I expected to see there) sentences as well.

Don't get me wrong, I can't fault his writing. It's better than that of most Americans I know. However, if he had named himself Jerome a New York, I think I'd still feel there was a foreign influence there.

Just to test myself, I took a quick glance at Bradbury's memo to Rizzo concerning interrogation techniques permissible under 18 USC §§2340-2340A. (It was handy.) By the opening of the second paragraph: "A paramount recognition emphasized in our 2004 Legal Standards Opinion. . ." and I was saying to myself, yup, that's an American voice. I can hear that officious-sounding voice as I read. It sounds fairly youthful, very clear, and forthright. It's a voice that puts an emotional content behind his text in a way that I recognize. I can't hear Jerome well at all. It's as if he's mumbling. The exception was his "I am a banker. Some of us didn't f*ck up" diary. That one came through very clear throughout. (Jerome's voice is something like..."husky", in case you wondered. Throaty. Not nasal at all.)

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

It would be interesting if you did this kind of "voice" analysis for more diaries and posters...

I'm curious: what is my voice like, and why?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 03:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All of us use many 'voices' - talking to friends, colleagues, the kids, the dog, in court,  at ET, etc. Most of us do not change our voice consciously, it is behavioural - based on the stimulus and the context.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Writers and actors can modulate their "voice". It's not like it can't be done.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:19:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you don't "hear" what you read? I always have. I talk to myself when I write as well. I thought everybody did.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:09:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm asking you what you hear when you read me.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:13:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Something sardonic. A little angry.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't. (It shouldn't be surprising as I'm much better at written than spoken English.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yup, that's an American voice. I can hear that officious-sounding voice as I read. It sounds fairly youthful, very clear, and forthright.

IOW, straight-talkin'? Funny, that's how I would characterise Jérôme's writing. Certainly not mumbling. (Even funnier: I haven't met him in real life yet, but in a BBC clip of him, he does speak as if mumbling, and certainly at a for me surprisingly slow pace.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 05:20:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He does write like that. He just doesn't sound like it.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire
by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 09:24:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"He does write like that. He just doesn't sound like it."

Let me clarify. One of the things I was looking at was if he marshalled his arguments in a way unfamiliar to me. But that wasn't it. I found his thoughts flow naturally one to the other as I would expect. It's really his sentences.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:09:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Jerome's voice is something like..."husky", in case you wondered"

That's hilarious.

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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