I don't understand the sentence "this rendered him practically mute" in the following passage.
After hearing " this rendered him practically mute", audiences laughed aloud clapping.
Please explain the meaing of the laughing..

It hasn't been easy for Rahm though as a young man he had a serious accident. I think, as many of you were aware of this, he was working at a deli, accident with a meat slicing machine, he lost part of his middle finger, and as a result of this, this rendered him practically mute.
Darcy, I think "Render someone practically mute" means, in this case, to make someone practically mute, that is, to make someone silent, unable to speak.

Hope it helps.
andy155, thanks for your answer..

It was time when American President-Elect Obama was telling about his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in 2005.. I watched the video in Youtube.
Everyone was laughing as soon as Obama said like that..
Especially Rahm laughed aloud clapping..
I don't still get it..
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Hi Darcy

I am not completely sure about this but my take is that the incident left Rahm extremely embrassed, which is what andy155 has suggested.

PBF, thanks for your answer..

Now I understand his joke..
People sometimes express their opinions using a middle finger instead speaking. ^^
He can't help remaining mute at that time..
DarcyAfter hearing " this rendered him practically mute", audiences laughed aloud clapping.
Please explain the meaing of the laughing..
Obviously, this is more a matter of culture than of grammar.
The gesture of raising the middle finger to someone is, in the U.S., and perhaps in most of the English speaking world, a substitute for saying extremely offensive words that show contempt for the person to whom the finger is raised, one word of which is so offensive that it is often referred to only as "the F-word" (because it begins with the letter F). Depending on the situation, a person who is the recipient of this gesture may even be moved to physical violence in some cases. And there is even an expression for it: to give someone the finger.
Now as it turns out, Rahm has the reputation of being very forceful in his dealings with others. It's possible that he has, over the course of his professional life, said words that were nearly as offensive as giving his opponents the finger. Who knows? Perhaps there have been occasions when he has actually given someone the finger as a means of expressing his contempt for them. But whether he has actually done so is irrelevant to the humor.

To be mute is, of course, to be unable to speak, and to render someone mute is to cause them to become unable to speak. The comparison, then, is this: If Rahm had lost a part of his tongue, he would have been rendered practically mute, in a literal way. He would not have been able to express himself by speaking. But having lost part of his middle finger, he was rendered practically mute, in a figurative way. That is, the man was made unable to express himself by gesturing. The loss of part of his middle finger had a very similar effect to what the loss of part of his tongue might have had.

Realize that once a joke has to be explained, especially in such a long and elaborate way, it is no longer funny. You can only appreciate the humor if you are part of the culture in which it originates, and know its traditions, customs, and expectations first-hand, and are thus able to respond spontaneously and knowingly to the implications of the words of the joke. If after this explanation, you still don't think it's funny, then don't be disappointed. I have never been able to get a non-native speaker to laugh by explaining a joke that he has not understood. Emotion: smile
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Peaceblinkfriendthe incident left Rahm extremely embrassed,
Now I'm really embarrassed.Emotion: embarrassed

ThanksEmotion: smile

are you serious?  basially obama is making a joke that most of what rham emanuel was saying was "Fuck You" to everyone.  without his middle finger, he couldn't do that any more and had nothing else to say.  Understanding this joke requires that you know that exclusively raising only your middle finger, aka giving someone "the bird", means "fuck you."

sorry about the vulgarity but you asked the question.
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