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    #1

    Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Hello,

    Please help me understand these from Dave Barry's column on the Democratic National Convention going on in Denver.
    Yes, Clinton has been making speeches urging her supporters to work for Obama; but at the same time she has also been using what one Obama adviser described as ``a lot of air quotes.''
    What does "a lot of air quotes" mean here? As in "full of hot air" (no substance)?
    And after all that, she loses the nomination to a guy who has roughly the same amount of executive governmental experience as Hannah Montana. Hillary is like: ``Are you KIDDING me?''

    I am curious to know if people in UK use this pattern "so-and-so is like: "
    or is it mostly used in America?
    Following days of feverish media speculation over a list of names that at one point included the late Hubert Humphrey and a probably fictional congressperson named ''Chet Edwards,'' Obama, in a bold move, went with the one name guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity through the spinal cord of American politics: Joe Biden.This choice not only virtually locks up Delaware's electoral vote (which it shares with Wyoming) but it also buttresses the Obama team with one of the Senate's most vocal voices. Sen. Biden is scheduled to address the convention Wednesday night from 8:48 p.m. until dawn.
    Based on the last sentence, I take it that Sen Biden rambles on, so the "guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity" is humor through sarcasm. And some additional level of humor achieved through redundancy ("electric shock of electricity"). Is this correct?

    I don't understand the American political system, so I did not understand "which it shares with Wyoming" because I see that there is quite a bit of physical distance between the states.

    The article ends with this line:
    Please, shoot me.
    What does it mean in this context? There was also a show on TV called Just Shoot Me, but I didn't quite get the meaning.


    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Hello,

    Please help me understand these from Dave Barry's column on the Democratic National Convention going on in Denver.
    Yes, Clinton has been making speeches urging her supporters to work for Obama; but at the same time she has also been using what one Obama adviser described as ``a lot of air quotes.'' (of no substance)
    What does "a lot of air quotes" mean here? As in "full of hot air" (no substance)?
    And after all that, she loses the nomination to a guy who has roughly the same amount of executive governmental experience as Hannah Montana. Hillary is like: ``Are you KIDDING me?'' (Hillary says in exasperation:)

    I am curious to know if people in UK use this pattern "so-and-so is like: "
    or is it mostly used in America?
    Following days of feverish media speculation over a list of names that at one point included the late Hubert Humphrey and a probably fictional congressperson named ''Chet Edwards,'' Obama, in a bold move, went with the one name guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity (sarcastic remark to say Biden does not excite the voters) through the spinal cord of American politics: Joe Biden.This choice not only virtually locks up Delaware's electoral vote (which it shares with Wyoming) (both states have very small amount of delegates and voters) but it also buttresses the Obama team with one of the Senate's most vocal voices. Sen. Biden is scheduled to address the convention Wednesday night from 8:48 p.m. until dawn. (yes, you have a good take on that)
    Based on the last sentence, I take it that Sen Biden rambles on, so the "guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity" is humor through sarcasm. And some additional level of humor achieved through redundancy ("electric shock of electricity"). Is this correct?

    I don't understand the American political system, so I did not understand "which it shares with Wyoming" because I see that there is quite a bit of physical distance between the states.

    The article ends with this line:
    Please, shoot me. (In the article, he says he has to do the same thing next week for the Republican Convention. Maybe he is not looking forward to it)
    What does it mean in this context? There was also a show on TV called Just Shoot Me, but I didn't quite get the meaning.

    Remember: Dave attempts to be a humorous columnist, FUNNY and sarcastic.

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    #3

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Thank you susiedqq! I understand it well now.

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    #4

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Remember: Dave attempts to be a humorous columnist, FUNNY and sarcastic.

    I should have said, Remember: Dave is a columnist who writes using humor and sarcasm.
    .

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    #5

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    Remember: Dave attempts to be a humorous columnist, FUNNY and sarcastic.

    I should have said, Remember: Dave is a columnist who writes using humor and sarcasm.
    .
    I understand that the first sentence may mean that he tries to be humorous, funny and sarcastic. But is the first sentence grammatically wrong, or is the second sentence just worded better?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    If you want to understand the Delaware/Wyoming thing you do need to understand the political system a bit.

    Our president is not elected by popular vote. He (so far - maybe in four years, "she") is elected by the Electoral College. If a candidate wins the popular vote in a state, he gets all the electoral college votes for that state. (There are a couple states that let you split them, but very, very few do that.)

    Each state has a certain number of electoral college votes, based on how many representatives it has in the two houses of the US Congress. Each will have one for each of its two senators, and one for each member of the US House of Representatives. The number of House reps you get is based on your population.

    That's how someone can have more PEOPLE vote for them, but still lose - you can get 50.1% of the vote in a huge state and get all their electoral votes, and lose by a huge margin in smaller states and still come out ahead with the votes that count.

    Delaware is a VERY small state. It has only one member of the House, so it has three electoral college votes. So does Wyoming, and Alaska... and a very few others. Three is the smallest number you can have. It's not very significant. So if Obama had picked a running mate from a large state: NY (where Hillary is one of the two senators), California, Ohio, Florida, Michigan -- states with large populations and therefore a large number of electoral votes -- it may have had a larger effect in a state that is more likely to make a difference in the final outcome.

    It's not very likely that the final outcome of the election will hinge on which way Delaware votes.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Oh, and the "and he's like "I'm sure"" and "and she was like "I don't think so" is very common, even among old people like me, but only in conversation. I'd never write it unless I was writing for humorous effect, as Barry does.

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    #8

    Re: Please help me understand this Dave Barry column

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If you want to understand the Delaware/Wyoming thing you do need to understand the political system a bit.
    Here's a short skit from Newstopia, my favourite Australian comedy, that explains the US electoral system.

    YouTube - newstopia: US electoral system explained

    PS: It's worth while sticking around for hypothetical on headscarves.

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