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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of the Union registers at 8th grade reading level



By BYRON TAU | 1/25/12 9:53 AM EST - Politico.com



President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test — the third lowest score of any State of the Union address since 1934.
The University of Minnesota's Smart Politics conducted an analysis on the last 70 State of the Union addresses and found that President Obama's three addresses have the lowest grade average of any modern president. "Obama's average grade-level score of 8.4 is more than two grades lower than the 10.7 grade average for the other 67 addresses written by his 12 predecessors," they conclude.
"The Flesch-Kincaid test is designed to assess the readability level of written text, with a formula that translates the score to a U.S. grade level. Longer sentences and sentences utilizing words with more syllables produce higher scores. Shorter sentences and sentences incorporating more monosyllabic words yield lower scores," the University of Minnesota's Eric Ostermeier explains.
Obama's use of simple language  is in part a reflection of his audience: the American voter in an election year. And it's part of a larger trend in simpler State of the Union language as the speech as transitioned from a simple address to Congress into a prime-time televised event.
Haven't We Heard this Before?

11:46 PM, JAN 24, 2012 • BY DANIEL HALPER  Weeklystandard.com


Obama Uses Same Lines from 2010, 2011
The Republican National Committee has compiled this video comparing lines President Obama used tonight in his State of the Union Address with lines he used in previous addresses before Congress:
Obama 2010: "It's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs.
Obama 2012: "Colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down."

Obama 2010: "And we should continue the work by fixing our broken immigration system."
Obama 2011: "I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration."
Obama 2012: "I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration."

Obama 2010: "We face a deficit of trust."
Obama 2012: "I've talked tonight about the deficit of trust . . ."

Obama 2010: "We can't wage a perpetual campaign."
Obama 2012: "We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign."

The good news is that after a couple years these sorts of speeches begin to write themselves.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/havent-we-heard_618462.html

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