originally posted by: JinMI
a reply to: JetBlackStare
My main thing is his lack of vocabulary. How can he possibly convey a nuanced argument or rebuttal? I understand the significance of repetition but
it's overly used.
Trump does not have a "lack of vocabulary" and his nuances is far above what most of the MSM even understand. An example is his "I wonder if Russia
can get us some more emails" schtick. It was a sarcastic nuanced joke that the MSM took seriously. And you think Trump is stupid? Look at the MSM.
They didn't even get it.
Now, here's what happened on the "less vocabulary" meme. A reporter stuffed a Trump speech into a "readability" computer program. Microsoft Word has
one embedded in the program. He then reported that Trump spoke at a low elementary school level. I forget the exact grade level. This was picked up by
AP and wound up in hundreds of news stories around the world.
What the reporter apparently did not realize is that "readability formulas" vary a good deal and are quite subject to misinterpretation. Some of them
give what what looks like very accurate results. For example, the Fry score will give an answer of "4.23" as the grade level of the material. Now just
stop and think about that for a minute. "4.23" Hmmm. The school year is nine months long, about what? 36 weeks? So this score of "4.23" is claiming it
represents a sample of material suitable for the fourth grade, ninth week, third day of instruction?
Kind of absurd, isn't it? these formulas consist largely of regression equations that measure the number of syllables in a word, number of words in a
sentence, even number of three syllable words in a sentence and stuff all this information in an equation that comes out with a grade level of the
material. So, as you might expect, long-winded prose using bigger words tends to score higher.
The better formulas use vocabulary lists with the formulas. The original Dale-Chall formula, as an example, had a list of 3,000 words that most 4th
graders knew. It has since been reformulated, but originally it had the word "schoolmaster," but not the word "television." Yet this is one of the
most highly reputed formulas in existence. One of the reasons for this is that it does not try to say a given sample of text is "4.23." It will
instead say, "4th through fifth grade" heavily hedging its bets.
Now this original reporter used just one formula included in Word. Had he known anything about readability formulas, he would have used several. And
had he used several he would have discovered that Trump's speech scores were all over the map from 4th to college level. And had he known anything
about readability he would have realized that speeches tend to grade lower because speech givers are not reading an essay. They use shorter sentences
for emphasis. Indeed, it's sometimes hard to know when a sentence ends. Readability formulas were developed to grade text books to ensure they could
be read at grade level. They were not design to measure speeches!
In other words, this reporter who started the meme that Trump has a low vocabulary has no idea what he is talking about. It's a complete myth. C'mon,
people, the guy graduated from Wharton School of Business. Do you actually believe he has a low vocabulary? The whole idea is stupid.
Now, how do I know all this? Because I wrote one of the best selling readability programs of all time which sold for over ten years to schools and
businesses all over the world in the 80's. This was back in the DOS days before Windows, but it sold on both the Apple ][ and IBM-PC platforms. I've
been into the specific guts of these formulas and I actually do know what I'm talking about in this field (and probably no other.)
So this whole idea that Trump has a low vocabulary was a meme started by a clueless reporter who still thinks he's a really bright fellow when he blew
the issue entirely. The whole idea is laughable.
edit on 7/29/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)