Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It Was a Linguistics Thing...

It seems voters thought John Kerry was a bit suicidal sounding and that the Silky Pony (a.k.a. John Edwards) was a bit of a girly man.

According to an extensive survey done by the University of Texas at Austin, Cheney sounded the smartest and the Bush/Cheney ticket sounded the most "Presidential". This seems to be devoid of the usual human bias because over 400,000 words from speech samples were run through a computer text-analysis program.

"Specifically, they rated each candidate's use of language along six dimensions: cognitive complexity (marked by sophisticated sentence structure and word choice); femininity (use of words and speech patterns favored by women); depression (use of words that are markers for depression or known "indicators of suicidality"); age (preference for words favored by young or old people); presidentiality (speech patterns and frequently occurring words favored by presidents since FDR in their speeches); and honesty (based on analyses of samples of truthful and deceptive language)." (source)

Edwards and Bush had the least sophisticated speech of the four, Edwards the most "feminine" and (the libs will love this) Cheney the most honest of all.

"Voters are most favorable toward those candidates who are the most optimistic," Slatcher said. "The depressive language that Kerry and Edwards used during the campaign may have contributed negatively to the way in which they were perceived by the public." (source)

Well, I thought it was interesting...

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