NEWS FLASH: No president has ever given an inauguration speech like this. Somebody smart is writing speeches for Biden that have PUNCH. Not even Trump gave speeches like this.
IT’S THE FORM
Someday the NY Times and Washington Post will learn how to analyze the FORM of speeches instead of only CONTENT. They don’t seem to grasp that communication consists of two parts. The result is dull inductivist random walks like this one in the Washington Post where they just searched key words (any junior high school student could do the same).
But something is going on with the FORM of Biden’s speeches. His inauguration speech was unlike ANY other inauguration speech in form, and I’m willing to bet ANY speech from a president, ever. Total. All of them.
Even Trump, with all his bellicose bleetings, still produced speeches of mostly paragraphs. Just look at the structure below of Biden’s speech compared to a sample from one of Obama’s inauguration speeches. It’s fascinating.
DOIN’ THE DOBZHANSKY
The Dobzhansky Template is a tool to help find the one word theme at the core of a text. Whoever is writing Biden’s speeches, they found lots of one words for him to present.
Previous to Wednesday’s Inauguration speech I heard two speeches from Biden that made me sit up and say wow, something’s different here. The Narrative Index scores have not been that high (the Inauguration was an 18, see figure below), but they’ve had a punchiness to them that stands out.
Here are representative samples of the inauguration speeches of Obama and Biden. Whoever wrote the Biden speech, that person has my automatic respect, admiration and interest. Let’s hear more of it — way to make traditional dull communications punchy.
The Narrative Index is the ratio of BUTs to ANDs, multiplied by 100 to make it a whole number.