What’s wrong with Sean Spicer?
January 25, 2017
Sean Spicer seems determined to protect Donald Trump from his own fabrications. This requires a level of intellectual dishonesty inconsistent with the correct use of English grammar. Look at the sentence below which I culled from today’s Toronto Star:
“He believes what he believes based on the information he was provided,” said Spicer, who provided no evidence to back up the president’s statements.
The use of the noun clause what he believes indicates a relatively sophisticated intelligence in that it indicates a willingness to deal with a known unknown.
But then comes the dreadful passive construction based on the information he was provided. Nobody believes the voice who utters a clunker like this. It’s a childish attempt to hide either the facts, or the lack of facts. It’s a passive “The front window was broken” when only the active “I broke the front window” will do.
So what’s wrong with Spicer? He uses the passive voice. The information he was provided will not do it. The White House Press Corps, the American People, and certainly we, Canadians, will have no use for him until he uses the active voice exclusively and he shows the source of every single bit of information which crosses his podium.
It’s all in the grammar.