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State of the Union registers at 8th grade reading level
Politico.com ^ | Jay Westcott

Posted on 01/30/2012 7:29:57 PM PST by Iam1ru1-2

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.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 0dumbo; eighthgrade; eighthgradelevel; obama; obamasotu; sotu

1 posted on 01/30/2012 7:30:01 PM PST by Iam1ru1-2
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To: Iam1ru1-2

He knows his voters.


2 posted on 01/30/2012 7:33:32 PM PST by ThomasThomas (The right has common sense , the OWS folks have common scents.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2
Dopey's Hope.
3 posted on 01/30/2012 7:33:51 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Hey America! Your President's DOJ is taking the Fifth Amendment! How do you feel about that?)
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To: Iam1ru1-2
President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test

Somebody wrote it for him.

8th grade, HA! No way he is that good. No way.

.

4 posted on 01/30/2012 7:35:27 PM PST by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Yeah, but it rated a 10 on the marxist scale!


5 posted on 01/30/2012 7:36:31 PM PST by IrishPennant (Did Adam and Eve have belly-buttons? I'm jes' askin'...)
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To: TLI

Fox news said, that Obama was writing the speech


6 posted on 01/30/2012 7:40:26 PM PST by molson209
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To: Iam1ru1-2

I use to grade reading level comprehension in a writing class I once took. We would grade everything from newspaper and magazine stories to political speeches. The ideal level to shoot for in writing is grade level 10. We would have given this one a FAIL.

And being he plagiarized much of his last State of the Union, we would have given him a low score for originality.


7 posted on 01/30/2012 7:49:32 PM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Eight grade means that his votes understood less than half of what he said.


8 posted on 01/30/2012 7:51:37 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

So Biden could understand it.


9 posted on 01/30/2012 7:54:36 PM PST by Lizavetta (You get what you tolerate)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

When one considers the fact that Los Angeles Unified School District publicly admits that 60% of their High School Graduates cannot read or write greater past a third grade level. I also assume it is roughly the same for the vast majority of sewer cities, so who is he really talking too??? Do you think he even knows?? If you ask me, he seems to talk to himself for the most part and doesn’t seem to comprehend what he is hearing himself say.


10 posted on 01/30/2012 7:59:53 PM PST by eyeamok
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To: Iam1ru1-2

It’s always good for a public speaker to talk “up” to his audience


11 posted on 01/30/2012 8:03:54 PM PST by bigbob
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To: ThomasThomas
He knows his voters.

He know his fellow Democrat in Congress.

And half of them STILL couldn't follow it.

12 posted on 01/30/2012 8:04:30 PM PST by digger48
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To: Iam1ru1-2

An eighth grade level means that his people are doing things right. 7th and 8th grade levels will be understood by the widest audience. It has no correlation to the smarts of the speaker.
Mark Twain, Edgar Rice Burroughs and many very successful writers wrote at this level for clarity. Not because they were dumb, but because they wanted to appeal to a large audience.
You can even set you word processor to keep your writing at y specified grade level level.


13 posted on 01/30/2012 8:07:55 PM PST by BuffaloJack (Defeat Obama. End Obama's War On Freedom.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2
no wonder the boy had so much trouble reading it of the teleprompter then...
14 posted on 01/30/2012 8:08:47 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

He’s needs the developmentally disabled votes something fierce after pissing off the whole Christian nation.


15 posted on 01/30/2012 8:12:33 PM PST by Karliner ( Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:38"...this is the end of the beginning."WC)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

I remember when a company I worked for would use Microsoft Office to score our government proposals written in Word. We shot for 10th grade level.


16 posted on 01/30/2012 8:17:35 PM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, Democrats believe every day is April 15th.)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

What grade level is shucking and jiving usually at anyway?


17 posted on 01/30/2012 8:43:23 PM PST by Sicon ("All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - G. Orwell)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Isn’t that above Buckwheat’s pay grade?


18 posted on 01/30/2012 9:18:33 PM PST by matthew fuller (My replacement for Drudge-http://www.webcommentary.com/links.php)
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To: Iam1ru1-2
In all fairness, the average adult novel is probably written at about an 8th-grade level. Irrespective of the content of the speech, it's a good target to aim at to reach the widest possible audience.

I'm not sure whether the Flesch-Kincaid test on its own is a very good indication of readability. Basically, it's little more than a "head count" of syllables and words per sentence.

19 posted on 01/30/2012 9:27:55 PM PST by RansomOttawa (tm)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

2008 Vice-President Debate

CNN: Debate analysis: Palin spoke at 10th-grade level, Biden at eighth

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/03/debate.words/index.html?iref=24hours


20 posted on 01/30/2012 10:33:37 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (Obama's War on Prosperity is killing me)
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To: Iam1ru1-2

Yeah...8th grade level with an 8th century mindset.


21 posted on 01/31/2012 6:56:18 AM PST by spokeshave (Mitt will release his tax returns when 0bambi releases his Birth Certificate and grades)
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