Upon hearing about a site dedicated to State of the Union speeches, the eyes (and mousse) of some gentle readers may gravitate elsewhere. That would be a tremendous mistake in the case of this fine site, which presents graphical representations of how specific words have been used in these speeches over the years. Created by Brad Borevitz, the site draws on a number of open resources available on the web, and attempts to “examine changes in the language of the State of the Union address over the past 200 years.” From the homepage, visitors can move their mouse over the graph featured prominently, and in doing so, they can view a visual representation of which words were featured in each speech. Of course, visitors can also examine the grade level at which each speech was written. After clicking on a given word (such as “tobacco”, which appears quite frequently in President Taft’s 1911 address), visitors will learn how many times the word was mentioned and where it appeared in the address. The entire site provides an interesting and unique glimpse into one type of content analysis, and one that is historically informed and quite relevant.
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