CNN Asks: Was Obama’s 10th Grade Level Speech too Smart for America?
June 17, 2010
(ChattahBox)—President Obama’s Tuesday evening oval office address to the nation, has been panned by the right for its lack of detail and by the left for not providing an historic Franklin D. Roosevelt take-charge moment. But CNN has taken a different tack. Perhaps Obama’s speech just wasn’t dumbed down enough for the average American.
CNN relied on the analysis of “language guru” Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. Payack determined that Obama’s oval office speech was written at nearly a 1oth grade level, specifically a 9.8 grade level. CNN concluded that “President Obama’s speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience…”
Payack’s analysis found that the President’s “professorial” speech on the Gulf oil disaster used too many words in each sentence and each word was too big:
“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.
The “language guru” suggested Obama’s speech would have been better received, if his language was, “A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary.”
Apparently, successful presidential speeches should contain words having less than four letters:
“At a micro level, the average word in the speech contained 4.5 letters, a bit longer than is typical for the former constitutional law professor,” Payack said.
How far down the dumb scale should an effective presidential speech go? According to Payack, about the 7th grade. Good to know.
The media’s preoccupation with President Obama’s “professorial” demeanor is really starting to get old. America just had eight-years of a president who was not comfortable using big words. It’s refreshing to have a commander-in-chief who is capable of treating the nation like adults.
H/T Political Animal