Friday, January 31, 2014

The SOTU and Reading Level

Evan Fleischer wrote a cheeky little bit about the reading level of the SOTU over at Esquire: Is the State of the Union Getting Dumber?

It was triggered by this graph in The Guardian:

Even emailed me and several other linguists to get some reactions. He quotes me, Ben Zimmer, and Angus B. Grieve-Smith. We generally agreed that trend noted by the graph probably had more to do with changing trends in who the speech is for, rather than any change in intelligence level.

It's a fun little read.

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