I think/hope/know there are Americans who know how to enunciate. I also don’t think I love Lucy is really reflective of anything in current American culture.
My main point, like I said is one that I’m sure most people have never heard of. It’s just to point out that there are a growing number of young Americans and a growing number of high schools and universities that are taking the study of rhetoric and the English language very seriously. The results are some astounding speakers and it has made speech and debate for some schools almost an extension of their D1 athletic programs. This type of commitment to communication is to my knowledge unrivaled by any other English speaking country.
The point is that if the “average American” or the “average American politician” is not as eloquent as their British counterparts (I put in quotations because those are some pretty broad generalizations to begin with) I hope that the gap is and will continue to decrease.
I think you gross overestimate how eloquent American debate actually is. It is nothing like you would imagine, where people sit down and discuss issues using very whimsical language, it is more of a machine gun of facts that get spewed out of the debators’ mouth.
Here is a clip of some of the most “impressive” debators in the country. Sam Iola was actually ranked number one out of every high school debator in the country at this event.
I hardly doubt this is what you imagined debate to be like at all. As for rhetoric and such I do not know if they even have some type of competition, so this is where the rub is, due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. If they do, that is great, I know now that many colleges offer rhetoric courses but I think the only competition where I can see it useful is in an essay style competition. I think it would be too hard to take over this established style of debate to be effective.
Sorry for the hijack.
Really glad you posted this I had no idea that the UK was in such dire straits.
As they say in the old country, that was bloody awful. There is absolutely no eloquence to that style of speech. They might as well be flinging poo at each other, it would be more entertaining.
It just proves what I wrote earlier. The British usage of the English language is at a much higher level than here in America. The American style of spitting words at people rapid fire is not a substitute for eloquence.
By allowing listeners a moment to digest each word and think about what was said, the British are able to convey more information with fewer words and get their point across.