Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

These days, politics is something to get excited about.

It's not, though, something you can always talk about. Especially at work.

Imagine if you discovered by chance that your supervisor would love to build a wall to keep out Mexicans -- and you happen to be Mexican.

Imagine if you found out that the extremely efficient head of accounting is a raving socialist who wants to nationalize every single company in America.

This might just cause a little friction.

On the other hand, there's that nosy part of you -- commonly known as "all of you" -- that desperately wants to know which way your co-workers lean.

Thankfully, Britain's fine academics can show you how.

New research from the University of Kent (once a radical hotbed, it probably still is) suggests that conservatives and liberals have, as a cardsharp might put it, their tells.

The research is entitled On the Grammar of Politics. This only gives you a small flavor.

The other part of the title offers more clarity: Or Why Conservatives Prefer Nouns.

Aha. Gentlemen prefer blondes, hipsters prefer not to wash, and conservatives prefer not to use adjectives.

The researchers looked at political speech from the U.S., Poland, and Lebanon. What they discovered is that liberal politicians like to use the word "optimistic," while conservatives prefer to say "an optimist."

The latter refer to people as "a homosexual" rather than just "homosexual."

You might wonder why this difference exists. The big brains suggest that nouns represent tradition and stability, while adjectives toss in a sense of, who knows, creativity and flightiness.

But does this really matter? Are conservative people more moved by those who speak in nouns, not merely in tongues?

Are liberals desperate to hear more florid, descriptive language in order to feel that giddy hope of our all being one?

There seems little evidence that either of these linguistic tics moves anyone. 

Lead researcher Aleksandra Cichocka told MailOnline: "It would be interesting to examine whether noun forms would turn out to be more persuasive to conservatives than liberals."

I am skeptical. Or am I a skeptic?

Have you gone through this article to glean whether I'm eschewing nouns in favor of adjectives? 

Is my radical liberal fascism coming through?

Or could it be, in fact, that nouns don't suggest stability or tradition? Could it be instead that a noun objectifies someone far more readily than does an adjective?

Once you use a noun, the person you're talking about becomes a thing. Does that make them easier to insult?

There again, Donald Trump appears to use many, many adjectives.

Does that mean that he is, as some suspect, actually a liberal? Now that's tantalizing.

Or, perhaps, a tantalizer.

Published on: Feb 25, 2016