Stephen Colbert is convinced that a new study showing that members of Congress speak with the vocabulary and grammar of the average high school sophomore is a sign that he isn’t getting his money’s worth from the government. On the Colbert Report last night, Colbert challenged members of Congress to use the sort of “soaring, poetic language about freedom” the Founding Fathers used, by delivering the most ornate plea to increase the difficulty level of their language he could muster.
Colbert highlighted a study showing that, seven years ago, Congress spoke at the literacy level of a high school junior, and that had dropped to the sophomore level today. “It took them seven years just to be held back a grade,” he joked, and called the issue an outrage, or “Stephen surprisey-frown.” He noted that President “Sparkletalk” is not immune to this problem, as the last State of the Union address was at an 8th grade level, and implored government officials to do better. “They should talk in a fancy way that shows more respect for the sacred institutions I have no respect for!” Colbert insisted, demanding his “money’s worth” out of elected officials.
Colbert concluded with the ultimate reason for Congressmen to start speaking more ornately: “if you use big words, no one will know you aren’t doing jack squat.”
The segment via Comedy Central below:
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