Obama. Slogan. Infuriating. Grammar. Dorks.

Is that period effective—or even correct?

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 31, 2012 9:20 AM CDT | Updated Aug 4, 2012 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama's re-election campaign slogan isn't just "Forward"—it's "Forward." And that little period is causing quite a bit of controversy, the Wall Street Journal reports. First of all, there's the question of whether the period takes away from the slogan's message. "It's like 'Forward, now stop,'" says Austan Goolsbee, who advises the campaign. Of course, he adds, "it could be worse. It could be 'Forward comma.'" Even Obama himself isn't sure he likes the implied message, an adviser says: He sometimes jokes, "Forward! Period. Full stop."

David Axelrod points out that detractors can "just … put two more dots on it, and it'll seem like it keeps on going." But there's also the question of whether the period is even grammatically correct. One expert says it's not, because "it's not a sentence." But another disagrees, asserting that the slogan is an imperative sentence: "You can look at the period as adding a sense of finality, making a strong statement." Either way, the period has been missing in some recent ads—and a campaign spokesperson warns, "Stay on your toes—anything could happen. Do not be surprised if we introduce a semicolon." Period.

President Obama's 2012 campaign slogan.
President Obama's 2012 campaign slogan.   (YouTube)
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