Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugural Words

Here's a NYTimes interactive feature which provides word charts showing the most used words in each inaugural address. (I owe a hat tip to someone. ) What's interesting to me is you can click on the word and see how it was used in the address, and then go on to the next uses in future addresses. For example: "people" in George Washington's address. It's nice to see he's talking of the "American people" and the "people of the United States", i.e., as one people, not as the people of the several states. Whereas James Buchanan mostly talks of the "people of the several states" or of the Territory, already conceding the rhetorical high ground to the secessionists.

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