Thursday, 6 September 2012

Do you like your sentences idea-free?

So the internets are all a-twitter about how Michelle Obama's and Ann Romney's speeches at their respective conventions set records: Obama's was for the highest grade level ever for such a speech (in terms of sentence complexity, vocabulary, and so on) while Romney's was for the lowest grade level.

Let's compare some remarks, quoted in this article:
Consider how Romney delivers the following passage on wives and mothers, in her purported attempt to close the gender gap for her husband's campaign: 
"You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you. Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises." 
But when Michele Obama addressed the subject of women in her speech, she took a different tactical approach, incorporating much longer sentences into her speech, such as the following passage about the president's grandmother: 
"And for years, men no more qualified than she was - men she had actually trained - were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack's family continued to scrape by."

There is an argument to be made for smaller, more efficient government. There are real questions to be asked about whether some of the government programs we're running now would be better administered on a state level or abolished. The republicans are not asking those questions.

Can we get a real second party, now, please?