Ever wonder why I believe most of the people in this country are drooling, partially retarded meatsacks?  See, e.g., CNN:

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.”

“A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary,” Payack recommended. “That’s the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch.”

As Bill Maher often says, we really are a stupid and unserious people.  Will someone please wake me up when civilization is about to end?


Update: Steve Benen is nonplussed:

So, let me get this straight. The lead CNN.com story this morning was a piece quoting an alleged expert, complaining that the president spoke to the country at nearly a 10th-grade level. Obama, apparently, should have dumbed it down for us.

I realize the Oval Office address had more than its share of detractors, but this is really a question separate from the substantive content. The complaint here is that our discourse has reached a point at which the president will be criticized for not talking down more to the public.

The expert CNN relied on said some of Obama’s longer sentences used “the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch.” He recommended that the president be “more ordinary” in his choice of words.


Update 2: Interestingly enough, it looks like the language guy CNN had on is a big fraud:

According to Paul J.J. Payack, president of “Global Language Monitor,” an Austin, Texas-based company that “analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture,” President Obama’s Oval Office address Tuesday was far too professorial for his intended audience. Payack reveals his analysis of the speech in a report released Wednesday, and duly reported on by CNN.
Payack, of course, is not a linguist. He is a professional self-promoter who provides ready-made bullshit “stories” about language to media outlets like CNN. He is a professional expert with no expertise. He is a fraud. CNN has been going to him for stories like this for years, of course.

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  1. TehHawt says:

    This is so depressing.

    • Metavirus says:

      very. a somewhat informed public is key to a thriving democracy. a public made up of people who fling poo and who are only fed a pre-chewed pulp of nitwit pundits, cnn and fox news cannot sustain a such a democracy

  2. we runnin' out of French Fries and burrito coverings

  3. schu says:

    While I do not agree with the premise of the author, it has been a proven fact that the average American reads at a 5th grade level.

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