Language guru: Obama speech too ‘professorial’ for his target audience

(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.


Oh, my. Over the heads of the majority of Americans.  We ARE in serious decline here in America. Tenth grade-level is ‘over the heads’ of typical Americans- is that why I often use the phrase, ‘dumbed-down Americans’? “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.

Surely, Franklin Roosevelt’s speeches would be ranked at the doctoral level by today’s lower standards.  Apparently, citizens of FDR’s era were more well spoken and possessed a much broader vocabulary than citizens today. It is no wonder, then, why Sarah Palin resonates so soundly with her faithful. It might also explain George Bush’s 8-year White House tenure.

It seems clear to me that I associate with and have discussions with the same ‘professorial’ people to which Mr. Payack refers. It is now evident why, during our discourse, my friends and I cannot understand why the Tea Party movement and other gatherings of skewed folk resonate so well with the citizens of this nation.  We apparently don’t ‘speak’ their language.


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