Monday, September 22, 2008

George Will: Going to the Well Too Often?


I admire George Will.
He's smart, articulate and seems more-or-less principled. But like all of us, he has some character ticks, and I don't mean the use of bow ties to signify good ol'-fashioned, Orville Redenbacherian integrity.
No. I mean his incessant use of the one-word sentence "Well." It generally follows a recitation of some liberal -- or possibly McCainiac -- position or statement. Then comes Will's "Well," which is followed by a thorough deconstruction of the opposing argument. But it's the initial "Well" that gets me. Just listen to it: arms crossed, eyebrows-raised, hardly knowing where to start. Withering. Even, one might say, snippy.
Check it out. A Doyle Reports special investigation -- thanks, Mr. NEXIS! -- reveals that Will has employed the one-word sentence "Well" in five separate columns this year. On Sept. 21, it was his retort to some fanciful claim by Fannie Mae politicos. In June, it followed a John McCain statement. In April, February and January, more of the same. Five times in nine months may not seem like much for a prolific columnist, but it's such a distinctive tone it sounds like more.
Look. These things happen. But I say, let's retire this one for a while and let the well recharge.

7 comments:

BobH said...

Hmmmph.

Anonymous said...

I say let Will have his Well. Jack Benny's not using it anymore.

J G said...

Well. Perhaps he sees it as his trademark. You wouldn't want him to have an unwell column, would you?

Anonymous said...

"Character tick"? Well. I guess that's better than a character louse. Or a character bedbug ...

Interesting post!

Anonymous said...

ohmygawd! Five times! That's almost one every two months! ohmygawd! Good thing Doyle is ON TOP OF THIS TREND!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good god, Doyle, talk about nitpicking. If you insist on criticizing Will, criticize his over-abundant use of baseball analogies or his use of the grammatically challenged term, "hopefully."

Michael Doyle said...

Yes, haters, I had hoped I would have found more than five uses of the word. I thought I would, too; darn it all, he's conservative even in his ticks!