If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(NPR)   Members of Congress now have the vocabulary of 10th-graders, down a grade from five years ago, and before that Daniel Patrick Moynihan kept throwing off the curve   (npr.org) divider line 110
    More: Dumbass, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, congresses, Dan Lungren, Frank Luntz, Chambers of parliament, Sunlight Foundation, open government, Congressional Record  
•       •       •

5940 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 May 2012 at 2:09 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



110 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-05-21 10:34:51 AM  
This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.
 
2012-05-21 10:42:48 AM  
I wonder how long it'll take their speech to degrade to middle-school texting levels?

i flbustrd bil 2day, lol
 
2012-05-21 10:52:43 AM  
I don't think it's too much to ask that our leaders be the most intelligent among us. I want a president that can understand nuance, culture and critically approach issues. When people like me have a higher intellect than Congress, we are well and truly farked
 
2012-05-21 10:56:38 AM  

meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.


Think, what was said by you is right. Its striven to us to be our ancestral likeness, our for fathers, which used bigger word and grammar in its proper form's. It is worrying to I that our education is bad; We must question thing's that seem wrong and it is to be justified in this for job creation.

In conclusion, lower taxes is all.
 
2012-05-21 11:09:27 AM  
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don't know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use."
-Ernest Hemingway
 
2012-05-21 11:21:38 AM  
So, way over the heads of most of their constituents.
 
2012-05-21 11:36:14 AM  
It is interesting that Republicans actually used to be higher than democrats.... and then all of a sudden they tanked.

Gee, what movement in recent years has taken over parts of the Republican party.... it's on the tip of my tongue ......

/granted, democrats are going downward as well.
 
2012-05-21 11:48:32 AM  

meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.


The days of the great orators in Congress are long, long gone.

Hell, it's difficult to even find a Statesman in Congress anymore. Just cheap, little people.
 
2012-05-21 11:55:36 AM  
So, about 4 grade levels higher than the average Farker?
 
2012-05-21 11:58:49 AM  
Notice how Republicans were leading the pack until the switch (and subsequent plummet) in 2006.

Also, FTFA: "My mother will probably be embarrassed to hear this news," Woodall says, "but I'm glad to know I'm not obfuscating our challenges with words that are too complicated."

This could be another possibility: communicating on a level the average American would more easily understand. And he used the word "obfuscate." This gave me a boner.
 
2012-05-21 11:59:40 AM  

meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.


Best. Boobies. EVER!
 
2012-05-21 12:01:41 PM  

adamgreeney: I don't think it's too much to ask that our leaders be the most intelligent among us. I want a president that can understand nuance, culture and critically approach issues. When people like me have a higher intellect than Congress, we are well and truly farked


I think there's a reason why people deride "elitists" and, thus, Democrats to a certain degree. You can have all the brains on the planet, but if you can't communicate in a way the average prole will understand, they'll just up and ignore you. IMHO, Republicans know how to do this. Probably why they're better at getting their message out.

Of course, YMMV, but Republicans seem to be better and making an impact by their herp-derp simply because it's ...well...simple.
 
2012-05-21 12:04:04 PM  
Uh...to sum up my tl;dr: just because you talk simple doesn't automatically mean you're retarded. Just easier to relate to. (disclaimer: note that I said "automatically mean." A lot of their stuff is still retarded, regardless of the manner of delivery)

I also find it no surprise that Sen. Snowe rated high on the list.
 
2012-05-21 12:26:35 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.

The days of the great orators in Congress are long, long gone.

Hell, it's difficult to even find a Statesman in Congress anymore. Just cheap, little people.

lawyers

FTFY.

/One should never confuse a 'lawyer' with a 'person'.
 
2012-05-21 12:33:53 PM  
Bottom 10, #6: Rep. Sean Duffy. Little known fact: likes to be called "Duff Daddy."
 
2012-05-21 12:41:08 PM  

bdub77: meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.

Think, what was said by you is right. Its striven to us to be our ancestral likeness, our for fathers, which used bigger word and grammar in its proper form's. It is worrying to I that our education is bad; We must question thing's that seem wrong and it is to be justified in this for job creation.

In conclusion, lower taxes is all.


Word!

xanadian: meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.

Best. Boobies. EVER!


Oh thank you. When in fact did you see them?
 
2012-05-21 12:42:36 PM  

impaler: Bottom 10, #6: Rep. Sean Duffy. Little known fact: likes to be called "Duff Daddy."


www.washingtonpost.com

It seems the Washington Post has been hijacked by satirists. Please tell me that's the case. And that a former lumberjack Wisconsinite Real World reality TV celebrity isn't a Congressman.

He also looks like he's in his late twenties. It's difficult for me to think of someone around my age being prepared for that kind of responsibility.
 
2012-05-21 12:55:16 PM  

Cythraul: impaler: Bottom 10, #6: Rep. Sean Duffy. Little known fact: likes to be called "Duff Daddy."

[www.washingtonpost.com image 606x390]

It seems the Washington Post has been hijacked by satirists. Please tell me that's the case. And that a former lumberjack Wisconsinite Real World reality TV celebrity isn't a Congressman.

He also looks like he's in his late twenties. It's difficult for me to think of someone around my age being prepared for that kind of responsibility.


Duffy hasn't aged in over a decade. Neither has his wife (another former Real Worlder). And he is indeed.
 
2012-05-21 01:21:20 PM  
10th grade?

Elitists. Primary them all out! The only letters a congressman needs to know are "U" "S" and "A!"
 
2012-05-21 01:49:43 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: 10th grade?

Elitists. Primary them all out! The only letters a congressman needs to know are "U" "S" and "A!"


You cannot spell many words with this. Perhaps you would wish to add another letter just to provide further words but I am in agreement with you as there are far more letters in the alphabet than are necessary for the day to day business of doing things.
 
2012-05-21 02:10:20 PM  
Oh look, another clustering of stupid around Southern Republican-leaning states with heavy Teatard representation.

/Must be that damn liberal number line again
 
2012-05-21 02:13:56 PM  
i249.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-21 02:14:33 PM  
This says more about us than it does about them. They give us exactly what we want, and what we want is very, very stupid.
 
2012-05-21 02:14:38 PM  
I'd never considered an NPR article bookmark-worthy until now.
 
2012-05-21 02:15:17 PM  
or, to put it more succinctly, GIGO.
 
2012-05-21 02:16:06 PM  
Tenth? Bl**dy H*ll! Fourth.
 
2012-05-21 02:16:49 PM  
So the vocabulary matches the mentality? I'm shocked.
 
2012-05-21 02:17:43 PM  
www.insidesocal.com
I don't know, Subby. I've listened to his radio show, and he doesn't sound all that smart.
 
2012-05-21 02:19:38 PM  
images.tdaxp.com
 
2012-05-21 02:19:55 PM  
i33.tinypic.com
 
2012-05-21 02:21:48 PM  
"Gosh, I guess I should be disappointed that I'm not using my higher education to better use, but, oh well," Mulvaney says.

*twitch*

/something about that phrasing...
 
2012-05-21 02:24:31 PM  
"Gosh, I guess I should be disappointed that I'm not using my higher education to better use, but, oh well,"

*facepalm*
 
2012-05-21 02:24:32 PM  
I'm less concerned with the 10th-grade vocubulary exhibited by Congress, than I am with their apparent 3rd-grade knowledge of science.
 
2012-05-21 02:25:36 PM  
Curve thrower.

encrypted-tbn3.google.com
 
2012-05-21 02:26:04 PM  

bdub77: meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.

Think, what was said by you is right. Its striven to us to be our ancestral likeness, our for fathers, which used bigger word and grammar in its proper form's. It is worrying to I that our education is bad; We must question thing's that seem wrong and it is to be justified in this for job creation.

In conclusion, lower taxes is all.


LM buttocks off.
 
2012-05-21 02:26:52 PM  

Wendy's Chili: "Gosh, I guess I should be disappointed that I'm not using my higher education to better use, but, oh well,"


Has anyone seen the statement which was made by this individual? LAUGHTER OL! You should read it as it is in the article but you are welcome as I am the person who was meaning to point this out to you.
 
2012-05-21 02:27:58 PM  

meow said the dog: This gives to me such anger. Writing and the excellent vocabulary are the keys to being the excellent leader. It is the skill we all must have to be the civil. servants and for this reason the outrage is here for me. You are welcome.


/i do agrees. Certainly, it is to me such a horrible and bad thingy that we have not become the proud and intelligent leader that we would and had promised to be like we did when we was getting voted in.
 
2012-05-21 02:28:00 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: 10th grade?

Elitists. Primary them all out! The only letters a congressman needs to know are "U" "S" and "A!"


Dont' be an idiot. You can't spell 'Jesus' with those letters.
 
2012-05-21 02:29:19 PM  
There's always the Guam tipping over thing too. ..

/Why yes, of course he was re-elected.
 
2012-05-21 02:29:58 PM  

CheekyMonkey: Mr. Coffee Nerves: 10th grade?

Elitists. Primary them all out! The only letters a congressman needs to know are "U" "S" and "A!"

Dont' be an idiot. You can't spell 'Jesus' with those letters.


Why are you spelling some hippie Jew's name?
 
2012-05-21 02:30:45 PM  
Flesch-Kincaid is a pretty dodgy metric for assessing "readability." Sentence length and poly-syallabic words can be a marker of complicated writing, but they can also be elements of writing that is very clear and easy to understand. Or vice-versa. Throw in a little passive voice or lack of clarity about your verb's objects, or use short-but-unfamiliar words and you can have a nightmare to parse.

From Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who":

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant: an elephant's faithful one hundred percent"

has a F-K grade level of 10.

And now, a sentence of my own devising:

"I found an adz in an aerie below the south col"

has an F-K grade level of 4.
 
2012-05-21 02:33:02 PM  
I'm not blaming Subby. The article does say "tenth". But tenth grade in 2012 is not tenth grade in 1960 or 1940. Tenth grade has been, pardon the hint of a pun, degraded so much that it is no longer equivalent to a high school hippie drop-out's education or mentality in 1965.

Consider that the level of debate in Congress is not only lower in eloquence and intelligence than the conversation of ostensible fourth graders like Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny, but is lower than the level required of elementary school students when some of us elder Farkers were born. It is possible that the kids of South Park talk at a tenth grade level. Sometimes Bart and Lisa Simpson talk at a university level. In fact, even Homer Simpson has moments of insight and lucidity.

But congress critters invariably debate at the level of the school playground. I know you are, but what am I?

Having read "The March of the Morons" recently (recommended by a Farker), I am afraid that the short story that inspired Idiocracy was already behind the curve of reality when it was written, and that the decline of the mental and rhetorical abilities of Congress has continued for decades beyond anything that satire can produce and retain the level of plausibility that Aristotle demanded of fiction. It is only believable because it is history--to paraphrase Aristotle's Poetics, "shiat that really happened" and doesn't have to be believed, because it simply is fact.

And here's my favourite Philip K. Dick quotation again: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, continues to exist." Like global warming, evolution, and the complete collapse of American political and social discourse to the lowest common denominator--the fourth grader.

Heck, Jethro Beaudine could cypher better than the GOP's "Great Brains Trust". They are competent only in their own minds. They are great in no minds. Even Ditto Heads realize in the still functioning cells of their brains that Rush Limbaugh is great only in the sense of "large, voluminous, swollen, fat-headed, metastasized". Even the million or two million idjits who form his core audience realize he is a fat-headed, fat-assed barstool bully and pompous pontificating ass.

He's Cartman, but not quite as smart because his creator is a Blind Fool, rather than two fairly intelligent jokers. Congress is the Fourth Grade leading the Fourth Rate. There are intelligent people there, but they get shouted down. They learn not to say what they think or mean. They learn to bounce beach balls around and waive their lighters in the air. They are dumbed down, rather than raising the level of discourse or political engagement.
 
2012-05-21 02:35:12 PM  
Obviously the solution is to cut taxes, educational funding, and Sesame Street.
 
2012-05-21 02:35:19 PM  
That's one of the more useless and stupid metric to apply to congress members.
 
2012-05-21 02:36:13 PM  

adamgreeney: I don't think it's too much to ask that our leaders be the most intelligent among us. I want a president that can understand nuance, culture and critically approach issues. When people like me have a higher intellect than Congress, we are well and truly farked


Because the most intelligent among us choose to run for congress? If you are smart, you avoid that at all costs. You are better off doing something else with your smarts.

aren't people taught to speak down to their audience for speeches? people are taught to eschew the big words and talk simply and directly. save the esoteric for the written word.
 
2012-05-21 02:36:34 PM  
FTA:

"Woodall is part of the large freshman class that came into Congress in 2010 - many of them backed by the Tea Party movement. Sunlight's Drutman says this infusion of new members looks to be part of the reason for the overall grade-level decline."

Truly surprising results.
 
2012-05-21 02:38:25 PM  
Both basic and eloquent speech have their advantages and disadvantages. I like speaking and conversing with someone who is well-read and intelligent. But some of the time you don't need fanciness ... you just need information quickly and easily.
 
2012-05-21 02:38:26 PM  
www.inbe.org
 
2012-05-21 02:39:14 PM  
Huh... I've found that as I revise something I've written, the grade level goes down and settles around 10th grade, according to this with a readability score of ~50-55. I wonder how actual readers would assess it.
 
2012-05-21 02:42:20 PM  

brantgoose: I'm not blaming Subby. The article does say "tenth". But tenth grade in 2012 is not tenth grade in 1960 or 1940.


Considering the teahadist and herpy-derpy AZ folks would have passed through your 1940s and 1960s 10th grade based on rough age demographics, you really want to be holding mid-century 10th grades as paragons of erudition? "Back in my day, we got a real education" begs "Then why are you a flaming moron?" and "Back in your day, you also lynched black men and gays."
 
Displayed 50 of 110 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report