Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aiming High

Best to know your audience, I guess. Analysis of two speeches, for what it's worth:

... Michelle Obama's 2012 speech to the DNC was written at seven grade levels above Ann Romney's as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

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 First Lady's speech on Tuesday evening was delivered at a grade level of 12.84 - more than 3.5 grade levels above the next highest speech of the 10 previous prepared remarks delivered by wives of presidential nominees since the first such address in 1992 by Barbara Bush.

Ms. Obama also held the previous record with her 2008 speech with a grade level of 9.28.


At the very bottom of the list - some 7+ grade levels below the First Lady - is Ann Romney.

The wife of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee gave a speech written at just a 5.80 grade level last Tuesday evening at the RNC.


  1. Is anyone surprised?

  2. Sid,
    did you ever box? wrestle? get your ass beat by your sister?
    Oh yeah, Ahhhmmmmm-Hurst, but you must have played a little Polo, Fencing, a little Snooker with the boys from Delta Chi??
    Cause you leave yourself more open to Counterpunches than friggin Steven F. Hawkins..
    And since I'll always take the opportunity to slap a retard, I mean a man when he's down...
    OH YEAH?!?!?

    He's speaking tonight BTW, now THAT will be funnier than a barrell of Monkeys(What's so funny bout' a barrell of Monkeys anyways?)

    Frank, go ahead, delete it, noone else is reading it anyway

  3. Naw, I'll publish it. Good to remind people once in a while.

  4. OK, you've piqued my interest, and as a Gas Passer, I like to see whats under the hood, behind the screen, I GOTTA KNOW HOW THANGS WORK!
    Like Anesthesia, its the Elves in the Machine...
    The way your "Flesh-Kincade" thang works is hence:

    Grade Level= 0.39(total words/total sentences) + 11.8(Total Syllables/Total Words)-15.59

    Got it?

    So "Jesus Wept" or "Call me Ishmael" gets a lower score than

    "Hey Moe! Look! The Medulla Oblongata of a Velocirator Ithicus"

    "Hes the first Articulate, Clean, Mainstream Afro-American, I mean, thats a Storybook Man!"


  5. Michelle Obama's speech was articulate, sincere, smart-- and-- I didn't cringe once--which is more than I can say about ANY speaker at either convention (excluding Pres Clinton who is in a league of his own). She is a person of substance.


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