American Fat Essay
In “American Fat” Russell Baker successfully demonstrates that the use of big words in society hides the insecurities of Americans while helping to boost their self confidence.
“Fat talk” helps Americans hide their own insecurities. “We are what we think, and very often we think what we say rather then what we say we think.” Russell Baker shows that Americans often think themselves smarter than they really are. People use “fat” language to attempt to establish that they aren’t vulnerable but invincible. These overstuffed words are no longer used by just the highly educated. “A generation ago only sissies and bureaucrats would have said “facilitate” in public. Now we are a nation of “facilitate” utterers.” The use of diction to obtain a “smart” label is so Americans can hide the self doubt they have for themselves. They think that by acting and talking like a big shot then people will see themselves as confident and important.
“Fat” language is not only used to remove insecurities in American society by it also tries to enhance their self confidence. “We associate plain talk with the age of national confidence.” People assume that if plain talk is connected with the age of national confidence then “fat” talk should be even better. Fat language makes Americans feel more self confident, which they in turn believe that makes the nation super confident. “As though we need sounds that seem weighty to conceal a thinness of the spirit from which they emanate.” Americans feel bad about themselves; their spirit has been crushed throughout their life. “Why do we like out words so fat but our women so skinny?” The heaviness of the sounds that Americans speak aren’t spoken just because, they are spoken to fill the person’s spirit with confidence and assurance.
Russell Baker uses diction and irony to criticize the educated. “To encase in multiple oleaginous syllabification until it becomes a pompous...