Fresh off a grammar class yesterday, though, I have to point out that ‘a fucking big deal’ would make the relationships in the noun phrase a bit clearer. ‘Fucking’ seems to be modifying ‘big’, not the other way around; otherwise, Biden is talking about a ‘fucking deal’, which doesn’t sound that great, and a ‘big fucking deal’ suddenly becomes not big at all. In fact, a ‘fucking deal’ has probably escaped the mouth of more than a few Republicans lately.
I’m back from 4Cs, and while I had fun with the style workshop and the panel I spoke at on scholars in other fields that do rhetorical work (I talked about Mark Goodacre and the recently passed Michael Goulder), I continue to feel estranged and separated from the overall comp studies vibe. Once again, I found myself going only to panels on rhetoric and religion, or on some style or tech comm issue. It may be that I feel this separation because I’m no longer teaching comp, and the issues of such classrooms no longer seem as pressing or intense as they once did.
In other words, rhetcomp isn’t a big fucking deal to me right now. I wonder if this is how English folks outside rhetcomp feel. I’m pretty sure the second I stepped into a comp classroom the urgency would return and I would feel the same way that I did back in ’04 when I taught my first comp course, but you can’t go home again, not really. Besides, in many ways, the classes that I teach now allow me to deal more directly with rhetorical issues than FYC ever did. More on this later.