: Obama's knack for tweaking how he talks — or code-switching, in linguistics terminology — was on display during the campaign and after. At fundraisers in New York, he'd put on his professorial lilt. In front of mostly black audiences in South Carolina, he'd warn them against believing rumors that he was a Muslim. "They try to bamboozle you, hoodwink you," he said, in a deliberate homage to Malcolm X.
: Yes, Obama speaks differently in front of black crowds than he does in front of mostly white audiences, which includes the American public at large.
New York Times (2012)
: Two aspects of President Obama's acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night were of linguistic interest. The first was "signifying" — the use of indirect humor as critique, and a much discussed feature of black speech. "My opponent and his running mate are ... new ... to foreign policy," he said, adding the two pauses for great comedic effect. The second, and more familiar, was the soaring crescendo, beginning with "in the words of Scripture, ours is a future filled with hope," in which Mr. Obama demonstrated his strongest mode of linguistic performance — the black preacher style — to end his remarks ("knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed").