Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How to write bipartisan political ad pablum

Someone asked AskMetafilter for help coming up with things to say in a fictional ad where she'll be running for some unspecified office. She wanted deliberately bland language that could fade into the background and wouldn't suggest any political party or controversial stance.

The thread has a lot of good examples and analysis of meaningless political rhetoric. Here's my contribution:

You have to use this phrase:

"helping working families"

They can also be "hard-working." They "work hard and play by the rules."

Meanwhile, the candidate will "fight for you."

The only groups of constituents that can be specifically mentioned are "seniors" and "our children." Everyone else is "families." (There are no lone individuals!)
Someone else links to the Wikipedia entry on "glittering generalities" -- an apt phrase. It's been around since 1859, when it was used by Abraham Lincoln.