Esquire, “Is The State of the Union Getting Dumber?”

January 29, 2014

Evan Fleischer, “Is The State of the Union Getting Dumber?” (Esquire, Jan. 29, 2014)

“We’re mostly talking about sentence length,” says Ben Zimmer of The Wall Street Journal. “As Mark Liberman has shown on Language Log, the decline in word length is much more modest. And the trends don’t apply to the overall length of the speech. Obama is averaging just under 7000 words per State of the Union, about the same as Lincoln. And I don’t think anyone is pining for the days of Taft, who averaged more than 22,000 words per SOTU.”

Read the rest here.

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