Thursday, June 17, 2010

The United States of Feeling Connections


"Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence "added some difficulty for his target audience," Payack said.

He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: "That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."

"A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary," Payack recommended. "That's the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch.""

Don't we have a requirement for everyone to go to school til they're 16 in this country? Isn't that 10th grade? Is it that unreasonable to write a 10th-grade level speech?
I criticize Obama a lot, but it's usually for his policy. The obsession on both sides (though largely on the right) with presidents being like "the working man" and not being any smarter than the rest of us is sickening - we should be electing our wisest people to be leaders, and wisdom necessarily incorporates intelligence beyond the average person (Intelligence isn't the only factor, of course, but it is one)
The fact that anyone thinks this is significant is ridiculous.

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