My local NPR affiliate is doing some sort of thing this evening on Malcolm X and his relevance for the 21st century. I just so happened to be thinking about his "Ballot or the Bullet" speech from 1964 this week because I assigned it as reading alongside King's more famous letter. To kick off the conversation in class, I planned to throw both texts into the always-fun Wordle machine and visually demonstrate the different emphases. Expecting contrast, I was surprised at how little there was. It may take you more than a moment to distinguish the two than you think.
This similarity got me thinking that two speeches from different camps on the same subject probably would make about the same word usage patterns, with some rhetorically loaded differences of jargon few in number.
What other political contrasts might engender similar word usage patterns? Democratic and Republican nomination speeches from the same year? Debate transcripts? Party platforms? Try Wordling and find out.
Click on the image to enlarge. PS- I removed the word "Birmingham" for obvious reasons.