"talk a good game"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by alienastarte, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. alienastarte Member

    Brazil and Portuguese
    The case is that the writer of this text seems not to be so familiar to the language he´s writing - or I may be wrong.

    But the case is this sentence:

    "A great deal of it is window-dressing -- using radical images like Subcomandante Marcos or the Black Panters, for instance, but not supporting their vision, or talking a good game about police harassment in the projects, but seeking to gain leadership roles in groups representative of the Black community".

    Does this expression "to talk a good game" exist? If so, what does it mean?

  2. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    Yes, it does exist; in fact, it's quite common.

    To talk a good game means that someone sounds sincere and/or knowledgeable about an issue, but is, in fact, not to be trusted.

    In this case, the person is talking about police harassment in the housing projects as if he cares about injustice or about the people being harassed. In fact, all he cares about is using this issue to gain more power for himself.

    By the way, the writer is very good in communicating his/her ideas! The term "window dressing" is eloquently descriptive of the kind of person who "talks a good game": everything is for show, for making a favorable impression on a target audience, but nothing is real.

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