*The Flesch-Kincaid scale was developed in 1975 for the U.S. Navy to assess the relative difficulty of training manuals. A recent analysis assessed the first 30,000 words each president spoke in office, and ranked them on the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scale and more than two dozen other common tests analyzing English-language difficulty levels.
How accurate was your prediction?
What story does the data tell?
How surprised are you by this information?
Explain whether this is good news.
How would a typical Republican or Democrat react to the fact that President Trump has by far the lowest level vocabulary of any of the past 15 presidents.
At what grade-level does the average American speak?*
At what grade-level do you think you speak?
The highest level speaker on the entire list of presidents is Herbert Hoover, who is often ranked as one of the worst presidents ever. Harry Truman, on the other hand, often ranked as one of the best presidents ever, spoke at less than a 6th grade-level. Does it really matter how a president speaks?
Apart from his vocabulary level, explain whether you would consider President Trump to be a good communicator.
Explain how much a president’s ability to communicate impacts their likelihood of achieving their goals.
How much do you think social media impacts the way a president communicates?
Do you think that President Trump would be happy to know about his vocabulary level?
Do you think that President Trump’s base is upset about the low level of his vocabulary?
Who are some members of the president’s team and the White House staff who are responsible for the way a president speaks and communicates?
At what grade level do you think Plaid Shirt Guy speaks? *(Hint, he’s in high school).
*The average American speaks at an 8th to 9th grade-level.