Speech Wars

This little site lets you pick two words and compare the number of times they’ve been used by US Presidents (and candidates) in State of the Union, inauguration and election campaign speeches from the 2008 election.

I ran some interesting tests – firstly with the candidates on their own names. It turns out Obama talked about McCain by name a whole lot more than McCain talked about Obama – although he did forget his name a few times…


Then looking at State of the Union addresses I ran tests on faith v hope, war v peace, and must v cannot… the results weren’t surprising – hope is more popular than faith – I think because it’s more positive. Speeches should be positive. War is more popular than peace – and that’s pretty logical when you look at US foreign policy. Must is more popular than cannot – because taking positive action is better than not doing something negative – and there are a lot of synonyms for cannot but not many with the same power as “must” for the affirmative side.

Here are the pics: