Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not just my imagination

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:33 PM Permalink

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, the public is getting dumber... 0r they're being dumbed down. Whatever. The result is the same.
The Princeton Review analyzed the transcripts of the Gore-Bush debates, the Clinton-Bush-Perot debates of 1992, the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 and the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. It reviewed these transcripts using a standard vocabulary test that indicates the minimum educational standard needed for a reader to grasp the text. During the 2000 debates George W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.7) and Al Gore at a seventh-grade level (7.6). In the 1992 debates Bill Clinton spoke at a seventh-grade level (7.6), while George H.W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.8), as did H. Ross Perot (6.3). In the debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon the candidates spoke in language used by 10th-graders. In the debates of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas the scores were respectively 11.2 and 12.0. In short, today's political rhetoric is designed to be comprehensible to a 10-year-old child or an adult with a sixth-grade reading level. It is fitted to this level of comprehension because most Americans speak, think and are entertained at this level. This is why serious film and theater and other serious artistic expression, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of American society. Voltaire was the most famous man of the 18th century. Today the most famous "person" is Mickey Mouse.

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At 10:18 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Now ther's a chanse yor misshapened bout all this here stuf. Did u evr here Lincon tawk?

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Also, just a few years ago "Joe Camel" achieved greater recognition than even Mickey Mouse. That's when congress finally cracked down on cigarette advertising.


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