Make America rather formidable again

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Jeb Bush uses the word rather 6 times in my sample of 14,429 words, for a rate of 416 per million words; Donald Trump doesn't use this word at all in my sample of 14,746 words.

Jeb Bush uses the word formidable 3 times in my sample, for a rate of 208 per million words; Donald Trump doesn't use this word at all.

[See "The most Trumpish (and Bushish) words" for details…]

Some other evaluative words that skew heavily in one direction or the other:


Trump Bush
very 90 17
nice 19 0
truly 5 0
tremendous 5 0
extraordinary 0 2
vastly 0 2
particularly 0 2
dynamic 0 2
formidable 0 3
rather 0 6

So alternatively, from Jeb, "Make America particularly dynamic again".

Or from Donald, "Make America very nice again".





  1. Bill Benzon said,

    September 10, 2015 @ 7:17 am

    I think it would be very nice if American were once again particularly dynamic.

  2. Guy said,

    September 10, 2015 @ 11:16 am

    Are all six uses of "rather" degree modifiers? Or do we see things like "would rather" and "rather than"?

    [(myl) I have to confess that Jeb! seems fond of "X rather than Y".]

  3. William Berry said,

    September 10, 2015 @ 5:29 pm

    But did Jeb! say FORMidable or forMIDable?

    If the latter, he doesn't deserve the credit. ;-)

  4. maidhc said,

    September 11, 2015 @ 4:24 am

    "Rather" is an elitist word. You could probably classify people (politicians especially) solely on the basis of this word.

    Its only use is to clarify tedious policy discussions. BORING!

  5. Terry Collmann said,

    September 11, 2015 @ 5:32 am

    William Berry, as a Briton who says "forMIDable", as do all Britons afaik, I'm afraid I don't understand your comment …

    It would be nice if Trump used "nice" to mean "wanton", "hard to please", "forming very small differences" or any of the many other obsolete of semi-obsolete uses of the word, but I doubt that he does …

  6. Brett said,

    September 11, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

    @maidhc: I have developed the habit of using "rather" quite a lot, with several different meanings. Sometimes, I think it makes me sound snobbier than I mean to seem.

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