Poetic manner of the tongue-tie: chernomyrdinkis (chernomyrdin’s idioms)

2016. № 1 (7), 168-178

State Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language

Russian State University for the Humanities


In the paper I analyze chernomyrdinki (chernomyrdin’s idioms), i.e. the spontaneous public statements of Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin. He was a key figure in Russian politics in the 1990s. The chernomyrdin’s idioms turned to be the most salient feature of the speech portrait of Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The chernomyrdin’s idioms are the expressive, subnormal, illogical statements. They break linguistic norms, i.e. stylistic, grammatical, syntax norms of the standard language. The author could be characterized as «“Ego” who creates by intuition, apart fromthe aesthetic reflection and artisticgoals» [Grigor’ev 1986].

The remarkable features of the chernomyrdin’s idioms are discussed in their relationship with such topics as: creativity; aphorisms; paradoxes; tongue-tie; language of power; language of weakness; language game. The chernomyrdin’s idioms in the context of internetcommunication are also under consideration.

“The explosion of the language silence of the deaf-and-dumb layers of the language” [Grigor’ev 1986] could be carried out in the expressions which were made by the author subconsciously, apart from the special artistic goals. The deviations from the standard language, i.e. slips of the tongue, and mistakes could make free the creative energy and the creative capacity of the language. The experts estimate such expressions as the product of art. This is the reason, why chernomyrdin’s idioms are still very popular.