The 2016 Presidential candidates ranked by how many smart words they use.

The 2016 Presidential candidates ranked by how many smart words they use.
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The men and women campaigning to be President of the United States of America face a tough choice: do you elevate the tenor of our national debate with the most precise and aspirational language possible, or do you shoot one-syllable word bullets straight from the hip at Americans who aren't part of the "grammar elite"? Both roads lead to the White House, and the fancy road isn't necessarily the high one. The folks over at Mashoid went over the many, many remarks by the 2016 candidates, and added George W. Bush and Barack Obama for good measure—after all, whatever they did worked.

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When Donald Trump uses a four-letter word, he's actually bringing up his average.

Mashoid's first chart measures language based on two measures: word length (number of letters), and word complexity (number of syllables). The first thing you may notice is that our perception of candidates' intelligence doesn't always match up with their speaking style. George W. Bush, for example, used longer and more complex words than Barack Obama. Maybe they both independently altered their styles to combat their perceptions. Perhaps Bush, seen as overly folksy, increased the length of his words, whereas college professor Obama often strives to speak casually, especially to younger crowds. Also, Joe Biden wins. Yes. That Joe Biden. The Joe Biden you're thinking of. The same Joe Biden.

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Juris Doctor is a law degree, in case you read at a Trump grade level.

The next thing you may notice is that even though the chart gets more Republican as you slide down the ladder, Donald Trump is significantly less complex even than his peers at the bottom of the pack. This is also true on the chart measuring the grade level of candidate's speeches. With such campaign gems as "I'm going to build a wall, and it's gonna be really, really, really great. Believe me, you'll love it," it's clear this isn't a glitch in the study. Did I make that quote up? How would you even know? It's also true of his supporters—another study found Trumpkins used significantly worse grammar than supporters of any other candidate. 

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Scott Walker may not have finished college, but at least he doesn't make me wonder how he graduated middle school.

Note that besides Scott Walker, Donald Trump ranks last again with the least education despite his claims of being hugely smarter than actual politicians. Trump also uses the word "China" about nine times as often as anyone else.

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Ironically, Ted Cruz mostly discusses the night terrors from his recurring dream that he's at a Princeton debate in his underwear and everyone in the audience is Noam Chomsky.

Finally, the candidates were ranked on their propensity to use certain buzzwords. Of all the rankings, this seems the most blatantly partisan, since many of the words are party-specific (like climate change, which obviously only affects Democrats). All the graphs in this article are selections from Mashoid's full report. Or, you can check out "Here are all the presidential candidates ranked by their supporters' grammar. Guess who's last?"

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