Obama Gulf Speech 'Too Professorial'

10th-grade level speech too high for target audience, language guru says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 4:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama's Oval Office address on the Gulf disaster was a misfire because it went over the heads of much of its target audience, according to language guru Paul Payack. Obama's sentences were too long and complex, making him sound aloof, out of touch, and professorial, said Payack, whose company analyzes word usage and language trends.

The speech was written to a 10th-grade level, according to Payack's calculations, higher than usual for Obama and well above the 7th-grade level of most of George W. Bush's speeches and Obama's "Yes We Can" speech, notes CNN. The scores, Payack says, "indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people."

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