A World of Speculation

Stanley Fish, dean emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, takes side-by-side speeches of Kerry and Bush and deduces the following object lesson:

Words are not just the cosmetic clothing of some underlying integrity; they are the operational vehicles of that integrity, the visible manifestation of the character to which others respond. And if the words you use fall apart, ring hollow, trail off and sound as if they came from nowhere or anywhere (these are the same thing), the suspicion will grow that what they lack is what you lack, and no one will follow you.

Candidates aside, he draws useful observations for writers.

And he’s a Kerry supporter.