Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Statistics of Word Use

The New York Times published a table entitled "Choice Words" (January 25) which compares the frequency with which President Obama used certain words in his State of the Union addresses (now I note sometimes abbreviated as SOTU - why must we abbreviate everything?) compared with how often they were spoken by the present Republican presidential hopefuls.

Again - beware of text out of context!

Word - "job" - Could be used as in "My job as president......"
Word - "business" - Could be used as in "The economy is the people's business."
Word - "war" - Could be used as in "the war on ignorance......"
Word - "freedom" - Could be used as in "We all have the freedom to decide for ourselves...."
Word - "government" - Could be used as in "The government of Iran......"

Admittedly, these words were more often than not used in the contexts in which they were assumed to be used.  But this form of information, again, brings to mind the potential "misinformation" that could be generated in the absence of the entire circumstance of the variable being measured.

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