Donald Trump was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show when the late night host asked him a simple question:
“Isn’t it un-American and wrong to discriminate people based on their religion?”
Trump replied with a long-winded but brilliantly structured one-minute answer. Evan Puschak, founder of NerdWriter, analysed all 220 words and determined Trump’s sentence structure and basic word choices give him a leg up on other presidential candidates when speaking to America.
Here’s the answer, with key words highlighted by Puschak:
The first thing to note, Puschak points out, is that Trump uses incredibly simple language and speaks at about a 4th grade level, according to a Boston Globe study. Hillary Clinton, by comparison, speaks at about an 8th grade level. 172 of the 220 words he uses (78%) in his Kimmel answer are only one syllable long.
Most of his sentences end with buzzwords, like “harm” and “dead,” to help ensure his point will resonate. To do this, Trump will go out of his way to speak in a way that isn’t grammatically correct just so he can land on the right, punchy word. For example, instead of saying, “You can’t solve the problem until you figure out what the root cause is,” Trump told Kimmel, “You can’t solve the problem until you figure out
what’s the root cause.”
Trump also tends to use simple sentences over independent clauses, Puschak says. And he talks directly to the audience, giving instructions like, “Look at what happened in Paris” so his words feel more personal.
“Like the best salesman, Trump keeps it simple,” Puschak concludes.
Here’s the full YouTube video breaking down Trump’s one-minute answer by Puschak.
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