Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

January 21, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

ANALYSIS, BABY....There's analysis, and then there's analysis:

* Analysis of speech: If the amount of time given over to a single idea reflects its relative importance in the State of the Union speech (a reasonable assumption), then the most important themes in tonight's speech, in descending order, are: the need to commit adequate resources to the military for the war on terror (87 seconds); that government will act against single-sex marriage (84 seconds); the administration's commitment to strengthening families and religious communities, and to combat juvenile use of drugs (78 seconds); the government's commitment to education and excellence for each child in America (72 seconds); that the world without Saddam is a better and safer place (69 seconds). The closing matter took 78 seconds, centered around the idea that we are living in historic times.

Incidentally, the average amount of continuous speech between applause lines was 29.28 seconds. In addition, if by speech units we mean a period of continuous speech without intended applause, the speech was constructed of:

16 units of 10 seconds or under
14 units of 11 to 20 seconds
12 units of 21 to 30 seconds
5 units of 31 to 40 seconds
1 unit of 41 to 50 seconds
3 units of 51 to 60 seconds
4 units of 61 to 70 seconds
and 3 units of 71 to 80 seconds. (Disclaimer: this excludes the introductory matter.)

I can't even begin to think of anything to say about this, but thought I would offer it up to the greater glory of anal retentiveness in all its myriad and glorious forms.

But hell, did that same-sex marriage stuff really take up 84 seconds?

UPDATE: Uggabugga offers a similar analysis. But his is more detailed and includes a pie chart.

UPDATE 2: Textual analysis is everywhere! Emma offers her take here.

Kevin Drum 8:31 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly