The one thing that Bush always did better than Obama was reach America's 1st grade level. Many people may have thought that Bush was dumb, but the reality was, Bush recognized that most Americans are too stupid to understand anything said above a 3rd grade level. For those interested, the average IQ of an American is 98 (according to the book 'IQ and the Wealth of Nations' by Dr. Richard Lynn).
Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audience
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 17, 2010 2:01 a.m. EDT
(CNN) -- President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.
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."
The monitor's chief word analyst found these three sentences insensitive: "Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years."
"You shouldn't be saying that in Katrina land," said Payack, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. "New Orleans lost a third of its population; it's still recovering."
But he praised Obama's phrase "oil began spewing" as active and graphic.
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.
Obama's nearly 10th-grade-level rating was the highest of any of his major speeches and well above the Grade 7.4 of his 2008 "Yes, we can" victory speech, which many consider his best effort, Payack said.
"The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people," he added.
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