A Word Cloud of RNC Speeches

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 28 2012 10:58 PM

Here's a Word Cloud of Almost Every Speech From Tuesday's GOP Convention

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Above you'll find a word cloud we threw together to give you an idea of the buzzwords that kept popping up during the first full day of speeches at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. As likely comes as little surprise, one of the only things the GOP lineup loved more than their candidate was their country.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Given we had to run 50-plus .pdf documents through a word-cloud generator, a few mentions may have gotten lost in the shuffle. But nonetheless our unofficial tally counted 247 combined mentions of "Mitt" and "Romney" (many of which no doubt came in succession) compared to 299 mentions of some variation of "America" or "United States."

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Obviously, a word cloud gives us only a partial picture of the speeches: While any mention of the GOP nominee was probably part of an applause line, the reaction to the 88-odd mentions of "government" likely depended pretty heavily on the size descriptor that came before it (small/big).

Nonetheless, as the graphic shows, there were a couple of topics that defined the night, including a focus on traditional conservative staples like family and God, and of course some heavy mentions of the man of the hour's favorite topic: the economy/business. (Again, unofficial tallies, with singular and plural mentions combined when possible):

—business (110), jobs (113), entrepreneurs (11); economy (35); debt (34); deficit (6); budget (17)
—family (75); father (10), dad (17); mother (15), mom (13); parent (27); grandparent (4), grandchildren (13); wife (10), husband (9); children (54), kids (14); sisters (6), brothers (6); marriage (8), married (7)
—God (40), faith (10)

*A note on methodology: We fed the official prepared remarks as they were published by the RNC into word-cloud generator Wordle.net. There were a small handful of the speeches missing from the site at the time we published, although the only major absence we spotted was Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Common words like "the", "an", etc. were removed.

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