An ostrich analysis of Obama’s Afghanistan speech

If you’re having a hard time dealing with what someone says to you, you can always resort to analyzing how they said it. “I wish you could have told me face to face, instead of in an email,” for example. Then you get to make that the issue. What content? Who ever said anything about content?

So let’s just forget what Obama said about Afghanistan last night, because I’m sorry but I just need to believe he’s doing the right thing in getting us out of all Bush’s quagmires. Let’s look at how he said it, compared to Bush’s Iraq “surge” speech of 2007.

More erudite, more complex, right? Wrong. There’s a site that analyzes speeches in terms of complexity, or what they call “lexical density.” Bush: 50%; Obama 46%. Or “readability,” on a scale from 6 (easy) to 20 (hard). Bush: 9.5; Obama 10.5.

Average number of syllables per word? 1.77 vs. 1.72. Average number of words in a sentence? 17 vs. 19.

Obama won on maximum sentence length, as you might expect (60 words, versus 43). And on total number of words: 1,671 more, to be exact.

Finally, here’s the gist of each speech, in terms of the ten most frequently used words:

Obama: “Our Afghanistan security people must war those Afghan Pakistan America.”

Bush: “Our Iraq Iraqi American help Iraqis forces those new Baghdad.”

And I’ll continue to stick my head in the sand when it comes to Obama’s sixth, versus Bush’s fifth, words.

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One Response to An ostrich analysis of Obama’s Afghanistan speech

  1. Curt says:

    Personally, I like the “he has more information than I do” rationale.

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