Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Men Diminishing Women, albeit Unwittingly—Even You, Barack Obama? Answer to the Quick Quiz of Yesterday

To make sense of this post, you need to first read the previous one, which asks you to identify the communication screw-up by President Obama in a 45-second video clip.

Obama’s mistake is the disrespect he metes out to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, unwittingly of course. Take another listen to that video clip and note that Obama refers to the other three leaders in Congress--all of whom are men and one of whom (Mitch McConnell) is a “minority leader,” as is Nancy Pelosi--by their official titles. Thus, while thanking them, the president utters “the Speaker of the House”…“Democratic Leader Harry Reid”…and “Republican Leader Mitch McConnell” respectively. But the woman among them is referred to simply as “Nancy Pelosi” instead of “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi” or “Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.”

As noted in previous posts under the labels “diminution of women…” and “men diminishing women…,” such displays of disrespect for female professionals are, sadly, all too common, thanks to the way we men are hardwired. A classic example of this sort of invidiousness, one which I never fail to cite in my seminars on “first impression” and “diminishers,” involves George Stephanopoulos’s interview of four members of the 9-11 Commission. On that occasion, the supposedly urbane and suave Stephanopoulos repeatedly diminished the only woman among them--former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. Click here to revisit that post.

Sure, there are preemptive steps men can and should take to avoid such accidental slighting of female professionals during meetings, presentations, and the like, and I discuss them in my above mentioned seminars.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quick Quiz: Identify the Communication Blunder in the Video Clip

The 45-second video clip below is an excerpt from President Obama’s short speech delivered during the “Inaugural Luncheon” held in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall on January 21—the day of his second inauguration.

We come in here just as he has finished thanking Vice President Biden and his wife, and is now about to thank a bunch of other people including members of his cabinet and Congressional leaders. Can you identify the communication slip-up? And no, I am NOT referring to some fine point of grammar.

Tune in to this blog tomorrow for the answer.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shakespeare’s Enormous and Vibrant Literary Legacy

I have long known that William Shakespeare has been, by far, the single biggest contributor of phrases and sayings to the English language. But, while listening to this past Tuesday’s edition of Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac,” I was a bit surprised to learn that several of the idioms that are in my everyday lexicon originated from the Bard. They include, for instance, “Greek to me,” “dead as a doornail,” “a wild goose chase,” “night owl,” and “a fool’s paradise.”  

Keillor also pointed out that the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) credits Shakespeare with having coined some 3,000 new words!  For the complete April 23 segment of “Writer’s Almanac,” click here: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/04/23

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal

Friday, April 12, 2013

For Gray-Haired Men: Selecting a Tie That Matches Color of Hair and then Anchoring Rest of Attire Around It

This is really a follow-up to my post of Nov. 28 last year, when I featured a video clip of Sen. Bob Corker looking sharp, thanks to his donning a tie that matched his silver-gray hair and then anchoring the rest of the attire around that tie. That video clip is the first of the two below.

The video clip at the very bottom is new. Taken from a recent edition of PBS NewsHour, my favorite daily news program, it shows correspondent Raphael Pi Roman (interviewing famous Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez) doing an even better job than Corker and therefore looking more appealing. To elaborate: While Roman, too, has selected a tie that somewhat matches the color of his hair, the rest of his attire presents a contrast that is somewhere between low and medium, as it should be. For his bright white shirt and silver-gray tie, Corker’s jacket is a bit too dark, thus slightly overwhelming his low contrast face.

© Copyright 2013  V. J. Singal