As soon as Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy, people noted a few of his linguistic quirks, such as the extended, supervowel pronunciation of huge and the references to himself in the third person. But beyond those, the version of English he speaks amounts to its own patois, with a special vocabulary and syntax and psychological substrate. A year ago Alec Baldwin and I decided to write a parody memoir, You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President, entirely in that dialect. To prepare, I spent weeks studying transcripts of his interviews and press conferences and depositions, as well as thousands of his tweets, to assemble a lexicon I could consult as we wrote. This is an abridged version of that Trump style guide.
amazing / beautiful / best / big league / brilliant / elegant / fabulous / fantastic / fine / good / great / happy / honest / incredible / nice / outstanding / phenomenal / powerful / sophisticated / special / strong / successful / top / tremendous / unbelievable
boring / complete and total / crooked / disgusting / dishonest / dopey / dumb / goofy / horrible / interesting* / not good / obsolete / out of control / overrated / pathetic / ridiculous / rude / sad / scary / stupid / terrible / unfair / weak / worst
*as a synonym for suspicious
big / huge / major / many / massive / numerous / staggering / substantial / tough / vast
Usage note: These may be spoken once, twice (“major, major”), or three times (“many, many, many”).
absolutely / badly / basically / certainly / extremely / frankly / greatly / highly / incredibly / totally / truly / unbelievably / very / viciously / way
candy* / chaos / choker / clown / disaster / dope / dummy / fool / hatred / idiocy / incompetence / joke / lightweight / loser / lowlife / moron / phonies / problem / terror / weakness
*as a synonym for cheap or widely distributed commodities, such as illegal drugs and leaked intelligence
Nonstandard Inclusion of the Definite Article
• the African Americans
• the blacks
• the cyber
• the Latinos
• the women