a vapid emptying out of every catchphrase

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member

I was reading the text, Palin is ready? Please., from http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2008/09/palin_is_ready_please.html

In the text below, I didn't understood what the bolded sentence mean.

This is nonsense--a vapid emptying out of every catchphrase about economics that came into her head. Some commentators, like CNN's Campbell Brown, have argued that it's sexist to keep Sarah Palin under wraps, as if she were a delicate flower who might wilt under the bright lights of the modern media. But the more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that's causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb.

Please, could you help me with this sentence?

I will appreciate if you corrrect my writing. Thanks.
  • spohreis

    Senior Member
    vapid = banal
    catch-phrase = cliché
    Need more help?
    Hello cyberpedant,

    I know what the words mean. I just don't understand what the whole sentence mean. I mean, I have tried to do a translation to my language but it didn't worked out. I think that my problem is with "emptying out".



    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    To "empty out" is to throw out, to spill out. If you empty out the context of your pockets, you take everything in them out. Here, she is figuratively taking all the clichés in the bag, in the arsenal. Here "catchphrase" can cover a range of ideas: conventional wisdom, sound bites, aphorisms, truisms, etc.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Her head was not full of thoughts, but was instead full of catchphrases and cliches. In saying these things out loud, she has just emptied her head of these phrases (the same way you might pull things at random out of a drawer or spill things out of a purse) without giving any thought to what they mean, or trying to form them into a coherent whole.


    Senior Member
    English - United States

    When you translate this into your language, try to keep the highly emotional opinion in there and choose your words to reflect a very negative description of what Palin did.

    The author of this piece doesn't like her, so he chose vapid to show that her words were unimaginative to the extreme. He could have said unimaginative and uninspired but he didn't. Vapid is a much stronger word and carries a sophisticated version of the word, "stupid."

    Empyting out was used in place of "saying everything that was in her head at the time." It's used here to describe someone who speaks words in a rapid fashion without forethought, and so they just come out of her mouth until they're all gone. No thinking involved really. Just pre-orchestrated answers ready to be spewed at the right time.

    Catchphrases are various groups of words that are tried and true and have already been said over and over again - once more keeping with the theme of this piece that she was vapid. :)
    She had no imagination and just repeated stuff she was coached to say.

    See the theme of this critique? It's very negative. If you keep this emotional theme in your translation, you'll do it correctly.

    < Previous | Next >