Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audience

"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."

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.

cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/16/obama.speech.analysis/index.html?hpt=C1

Poor Mr Obama - he has to contend with all of us stupid bitter clingers. It wasn't his fault that his speech bombed - we just aren't smart enough to understand The One.

This is a good example of why I like President Obama. He does not talk down to the American people like we are grade school children as did his predecessor.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:2, topic:202235"]
This is a good example of why I like President Obama. He does not talk down to the American people like we are grade school children as did his predecessor.

[/quote]

Do you really buy into the fact that this reason this speech bombed, both on the right and left, was because he was too "Lofty" for us? Do you really enjoy being insulted?

[quote="Brooklyn, post:3, topic:202235"]
Do you really buy into the fact that this reason this speech bombed, both on the right and left, was because he was too "Lofty" for us? Do you really enjoy being insulted?

[/quote]

Well, you cannot blame your President for that - he's not the one saying that his listeners were too stupid to understand him. This Texan professor is the one doing that. Why take it out on Mr Obama?

I do not think that the speech 'bombed'.

And who is insulting us?

Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor.?

[quote="jjdrury81, post:2, topic:202235"]
This is a good example of why I like President Obama. He does not talk down to the American people like we are grade school children as did his predecessor.

[/quote]

All due respect, JJ, I can't believe anyone could not see through to his intent.

His speech was not about the oil spill or even BP. It was all about cap and trade.

Plug the leak, Obama!!!

This president is all about making our country into a second rate, socialist nation.

Besides that, he is the most ardent supporter of abortion ever to reside in the white house.

Really, what is there to like?????

[quote="cargau, post:6, topic:202235"]

His speech was not about the oil spill or even BP. It was all about cap and trade.

[/quote]

It was about both. As it should have been. I would have like to hear more about cap and trade. That is something that could have a real impact that the president actually has control over.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:7, topic:202235"]
It was about both. As it should have been. I would have like to hear more about cap and trade. That is something that could have a real impact that the president actually has control over.

[/quote]

You know, JJ, I disagree with you about everything, but I like you because you are so true to your beliefs. As far as I can tell, you have no ulterior motives, you don't say these things because you are against anyone. I know that you really believe this with all your heart, and yes, you are absolutely wrong, but I will still give you credit for not being afraid to put it right out there because you really do believe it.

I don't know how old you are, but I'm assuming that you are young. Believe it or not, I was extremely liberal when I was young. The only conservative issue that I always embraced was being pro life. I hated Ronald Reagan. I'm sure that if Obama was around when I was in my 20's and 30's, I would have thought he was great.

So beware - you might change one day, too!

And I certainly hope not. My folks and grandfolks, aunts, uncles, etc, have been good blue collar/left leaning Dems their whole lives.

And thank you for the compliment. I do appreciate that.

I've studied fog indexes too but I'm confused here. I thought we were teaching English in all our schools. Shouldn't they at least able to understand at the voting age level?

On a somewhat timely note, I participated at a Q&A session with my US Representative last night. One of the concerns introduced into the discussion was a rather spirited plea for having English as our official language. The Representative agreed and said he would do what he can to bring up that legislation. Well, good luck with that one.

we just aren't smart enough to understand The One.

Maybe we could understand the other one better?

youtube.com/watch?v=tjZW4z9zqqY

[quote="jjdrury81, post:7, topic:202235"]
That is something that could have a real impact that the president actually has control over.

[/quote]

That is exactly the problem!!! It would have a huge impact and Obama would be in control. A living nightmare.

[quote="tr1strev, post:12, topic:202235"]
That is exactly the problem!!! It would have a huge impact and Obama would be in control. A living nightmare.

[/quote]

Perish the thought!

[quote="jjdrury81, post:9, topic:202235"]
28.

And I certainly hope not. My folks and grandfolks, aunts, uncles, etc, have been good blue collar/left leaning Dems their whole lives.

And thank you for the compliment. I do appreciate that.

[/quote]

JJ,

They say that if you are twenty and you are not a liberal, you don't have a heart.

If you are 40 and you are not a conservative, you don't have a brain.

I am praying for the transformation in the next twelve years. I think the fallout from all of the Obama initiatives will probably be what changes your outlook...

God bless you. He does love us all.

[quote="cargau, post:14, topic:202235"]

I am praying for the transformation in the next twelve years. /QUOTE]

And I for you.

[/quote]

[quote="jjdrury81, post:15, topic:202235"]

[quote="jjdrury81, post:2, topic:202235"]
This is a good example of why I like President Obama. He does not talk down to the American people like we are grade school children as did his predecessor.

[/quote]

Actually, according to the guru, he has been. His most popular speeches were just slight over the elementary level range. The one time that he didn't treat his fans to elementary level ideas, he absolutely bombed, especially among his own constituency. He bombed just like predecessor did with that constituency in the years before.

So when it comes to the left, you all have to admit, that "no, Mr. President, we are not smarter than a fifth grader." Obama is just not going to get any support from those with high school proficiency.:D

[quote="cargau, post:14, topic:202235"]

They say that if you are twenty and you are not a liberal, you don't have a heart.

If you are 40 and you are not a conservative, you don't have a brain.
.

[/quote]

LOL...guess I don't have a heart then. Just call me the Tinman. ;)

OP - Well, I guess Mr. Obama's falling ratings are because we're all too stupid to understand his great, Ivy League ways. Poor Mr. Obama. It couldn't possibly be flaws in his foreign and domestic policy...or ramming Obamacare down our throats...or his aggressive pro-abortion, radical agenda.... :rolleyes:

I frankly am completely against the government reaching its sticky fingers into yet another area of our economy with cap & trade. Do I think this Administration will use the Gulf disaster to do that? Of course. In Rahm Emanuel's words, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is that it's an opportunity to do things you could not do before." (Rahm Emanuel to the Wall Street Journal in Nov. 2008).

[quote="jjdrury81, post:9, topic:202235"]
28.

And I certainly hope not. My folks and grandfolks, aunts, uncles, etc, have been good blue collar/left leaning Dems their whole lives.

And thank you for the compliment. I do appreciate that.

[/quote]

With all due respect, the current crop of Democrats are not your fathers Democrats. My family was all staunch Irish Catholic Dems. Some where after JFK, they began to see the Dems were no longer the party of old and switched. So there is hope for all.

[quote="mary_bobo, post:19, topic:202235"]
With all due respect, the current crop of Democrats are not your fathers Democrats.

[/quote]

I agree, and so does my father, but for very different reasons than you had stated. The Democrat party of today has shifted to the right, bowed to corporate power and interests and forgotten about the organized labor organizations that constituted their most loyal base for so long.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.