Monday, May 7, 2007

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson. Significant Sentences. Continued.

Significant sentences from Kennedy by Theodore Sorenson, a history of the words and philosoophy of President Kennedy. Continued.

John Steven McGroaty of California in 1934 in a classic response to a constituent: "One of the countless drawbacks of being in Congress is that I am compelled to receive impertinent letters from a jackass like you in which you say I promised to have the Sierra Madre Mountains reforested and I have been in Congress two months and haven't done it." p. 63.

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "We always discussed the topic, the approach and the conclusion in advance." p. 67.

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "He always had quotations or historical allusions to include."

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "And he always, upon receiving my draft, altered, deleted or added phrases, paragraphs or pages."

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "Our chief criterion was always audience comprehension and comfort and this meant: 1. Short speeches, short clauses and short words whenever possible. 2. A series of points or propositions in numbered or logical sequence.... 3. The construction of sentences, phrases and paragraphs in such a manner as to simplify, clarify and emphasize." p. 67.

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "He was fond of alliterative sentences, not solely for reasons of rhetoric, but to reinforce the audience's recollection of his reasoning." p. 68.

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "At the same time, his emphasis on a a course of reason--rejecting the extremes of either side--helped produce the parallel construction and use of contrasts with which he later became identified." p. 68.

Sorenson on speech writing with JFK: "He wanted his major policy statements to be positive, specific, and definite, avoiding the use of 'suggest,' 'perhaps' and 'possible alternatives for consideration.' p. 68.

On JFK "...was not pack his speeches with statistics and quotations." p. 69.

On JFK "...Humor in the body of a prepared speech, however, was rare compared to its use at the beginning of almost every speech he made off the Senate floor." p. 70.

Sorenson: "In addition to the humor file, we kept a collection of appropriate speech-endings--usually quotations from famous figures or incidents from history which, coupled with a brief peroration of his own, could conclude almost any speech on any subject with a dramatic flourish." p. 71.

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