Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Graduation Speech Summation

According to the New York Times, college graduation speeches don't seem to have changed that much over the past few years.
They [speakers] spoke of courage in an uncertain economy, warned against technology overload and tried to redefine success for a new generation. They railed against fear, conformity, stasis and self-involvement. And they asked row upon row of young men and women to do nothing less than save the world
The priorities that speakers urged graduates to have do seem to vary a bit.  The Times reports,
The New York Times measured the frequency of key words in 40 of the hundreds of speeches delivered this spring. Perhaps as an indicator of the still-guarded condition of the national economy, the words “world,” “country” “love” and “service” showed up far more often than “money,” “happiness” and “success.” The author Jonathan Franzen, at Kenyon College, rhapsodized about “love” and “passion,” using the words some 40 times; Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, said “Facebook” more than anyone else.
Geeky folk like me will like this chart that illustrates frequency of word usage for different audiences.

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