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submerge it in other people’s narratives

English translation: he makes his own background/backstory blend in with other people's

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:submerge it in other people’s narratives
Selected answer:he makes his own background/backstory blend in with other people's
Entered by: Yvonne Gallagher

22:17 Jul 23, 2016
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Management
English term or phrase: submerge it in other people’s narratives
Hello everyone,

Another reviewer, Gary Willis, summarizes Remnick’s explanation of Obama’s fluidity: “Accused of not being black enough, he could show that he has more direct ties to Africa than most ­African Americans have. Suspected of not being American enough, he appealed to his mother’s Midwest origins and accent. Touring conservative little towns in southern Illinois, he could speak the language of the Kansan grandparents who raised him. He is a bit of a chameleon or shape-shifter, but he does not come across as insincere—that is the importance of his famous ‘cool.’ He does not have the hot eagerness of the con man. Though his own background is out of the ordinary, he has the skill to ***submerge it in other people’s narratives***, even those that seem distant from his own.”

Does "he has the skill to submerge it in other people’s narratives" means that when Obama talks about his background he does not give much detals about it preferring to talk about other people?

Thank you.
Mikhail Korolev
Local time: 20:21
no, he makes his background blend in and seem ordinary
Explanation:
I read this as meaning that Obama has the gift of seemingly blending in with other "ordinary" people. He has quite an exotic background "Though his own background is out of the ordinary" but he is a "chameleon" so can mix in with others from many backgrounds and match them in tone ...he can point to his African background on one hand and to his Midwest background on the other. (It doesn't say it here but he also made a trip to Ireland a few years ago to highlight his Irish ancestry ...6 generations back! but useful when it comes to voters)

His skill is being able to appeal to a range of people from different backgounds "submerging" or blending his own narrative or backstory with their different narratives

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Note added at 11 hrs (2016-07-24 09:29:41 GMT)
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and this is explained in the following lines

"[Obama] shifted accent and cadences depending on the audience: a more straight-up delivery for a luncheon of businesspeople in the Loop [in downtown Chicago]; a folksier approach at a downstate V.F.W. [a veterans organization]; echoes of the pastors of the black church when he was in one...Obama crafted his speech to fit the moment..."

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Note added at 1 day10 hrs (2016-07-25 08:54:36 GMT) Post-grading
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glad to have helped
Selected response from:

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 18:21
Grading comment
Thank you, Gallagy.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +5no, he makes his background blend in and seem ordinary
Yvonne Gallagher


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
no, he makes his background blend in and seem ordinary


Explanation:
I read this as meaning that Obama has the gift of seemingly blending in with other "ordinary" people. He has quite an exotic background "Though his own background is out of the ordinary" but he is a "chameleon" so can mix in with others from many backgrounds and match them in tone ...he can point to his African background on one hand and to his Midwest background on the other. (It doesn't say it here but he also made a trip to Ireland a few years ago to highlight his Irish ancestry ...6 generations back! but useful when it comes to voters)

His skill is being able to appeal to a range of people from different backgounds "submerging" or blending his own narrative or backstory with their different narratives

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 hrs (2016-07-24 09:29:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

and this is explained in the following lines

"[Obama] shifted accent and cadences depending on the audience: a more straight-up delivery for a luncheon of businesspeople in the Loop [in downtown Chicago]; a folksier approach at a downstate V.F.W. [a veterans organization]; echoes of the pastors of the black church when he was in one...Obama crafted his speech to fit the moment..."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day10 hrs (2016-07-25 08:54:36 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

glad to have helped

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 18:21
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39
Grading comment
Thank you, Gallagy.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Yasutomo Kanazawa: A gifted talent. Maybe he could get a job at Hollywood next time.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks!...Yes indeed, Hollywoood awaits! Trump the complete opposite

agree  Jack Doughty
7 hrs
  -> Thank you:-)

agree  Armorel Young
8 hrs
  -> Thank you:-)

agree  Lingua 5B
9 hrs
  -> Thank you:-)

agree  Piyush Ojha
9 hrs
  -> Thank you:-)
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