Scientists examined 30,000 words of President Donald Trump's and concluded that he speaks at fourth-grade level.
This is the lowest speaking ability of any President since Harry Truman.
Truman served from the end of World War 2 until 1952 and was the last President to not earn a college degree (he attended a local community college and law school but never finished either). Trump earned a Bachelors of Business Administration from Wharton as an undergraduate. He claims that he graduated at the top of his class though records say otherwise.
The analysis assessed the first 30,000 words each president spoke in office, and ranked them on the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scale and more than two dozen other common tests analyzing English-language difficulty levels. Trump clocked in around mid-fourth grade, the worst since Harry Truman, who spoke at nearly a sixth-grade level.
Experts also made other alarming findings:
“By every metric and methodology tested, Donald Trump’s vocabulary and grammatical structure is significantly more simple, and less diverse, than any President since Herbert Hoover [1929-1933], when measuring “off-script” words, that is, words far less likely to have been written in advance for the speaker,” Factba.se CEO Bill Frischling wrote. “The gap between Trump and the next closest president ... is larger than any other gap using Flesch-Kincaid. Statistically speaking, there is a significant gap.”
For decades, studies have found that deterioration in the fluency, complexity, and vocabulary level of spontaneous speech can indicate slipping brain function due to normal aging or neurodegenerative disease. The reason linguistic and cognitive decline often go hand in hand, studies show, is that fluency reflects the performance of the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the seat of higher-order cognitive functions such as working memory, judgment, understanding, and planning, as well as the temporal lobe, which searches for and retrieves the right words from memory.