Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:29 PM
In response to the innuendo coming from anonymous McCain staffers about Sarah Palin, the good lady has e-mailed CNN a statement which begins with the following sentence...
"This is so unfortunately and, quite honestly, sickening."
Can someone please diagnose the diction problems here technically?
I'd say the main problem is that she's essentially conflating a predicate adverb modifying to be (i.e. this is unfortunately sickening) with a sentencial copular adverb (i.e Honestly, this is sickening in a manner that's unfortunate- where the adverb modifes the entire propositional content of the sentence). The coupling under the same predicate blurs the distiction between what is being proposed and modified.
If I were to edit her crime against diction while maintaining her apparent meaning as faithfully as possible, I'd probably render it as: "In all honesty, I find this unfortunately sickening." Which, honestly, isn't much better, unfortunately.
The God of language forgives all crimes.
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