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Loudmouths Int.
Loudmouths Int.

PARIS — When Donald Trump talks ... well, that's some kind of talking. During his successful run for the presidency, the world got to hear the billionaire real estate mogul turned reality TV star spout his own singular brand of vaguely aggressive and self-aggrandizing forms of communication. And a week since moving into the White House, there are no signs that Trumparlance will change any time soon. Just won't. Not gonna happen.

The 45th president may be redefining the very nature of American political rhetoric before our ears. While many by now have conceded the effectiveness of his speaking (and tweeting) style in garnering public support, Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at the University of Edinburgh argues that Trump's rat-a-tat-tat sentences reveal the way his brain works. "His speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills," Pullum told Vox.com

Of course, the rhetoric of world leaders, both the substance an style, has been an evolving art form since the days of Julius Caesar. Here are a few lines from the freewheelin" new leader of the free world in his first week on the job, followed by a quick glance around the world — from Chile to Italy to the Philippines — of some other interesting turns of phrase in recent months and years.

DONALD TRUMP (U.S.)


Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/PR

Sometimes I'm sorry to not be a dictator, but alas I'm not one.

MARIANO RAJOY (SPAIN)


Photo: oehf9waueb

Talking about the rain:

This is like the water that falls from the sky, nobody knows why.

JACOB ZUMA (SOUTH AFRICA)


Photo: WEF/Eric Miller

The ANC will rule South Africa until Jesus comes back.

SEBASTIAN PINERA (CHILE)

On the occasion of the Bicentennial of Chile, commemorating 200 years of independence:

Very few countries in the world — you can count them on the fingers of one hand — have had the privilege of celebrating 500 years of independent life, as we Chileans do.

RODRIGO DUTERTE (PHILIPPINES)


Photo: PCOO EDP

I wanted to call him, ‘Pope, son of a whore, go home. Do not visit us again."

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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