Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fast Talkers

Sen. Chris Dodd's campaign gained some fame this summer for inventing the "talk clock" that kept tabs on how much time each candidate received to speak at the DNC-sanctioned debates. The premise of the talk clock was to show how Dodd was getting unfairly hosed by the moderators, who were giving all the time to the Big 3.

Well, thanks to the Times unbelievable new web feature, we can put a bit of a different spin on it. They have counted not just the time alloted to each candidate but also the number of words spoken. Some simple math* and voila! You have the pace clock. Because sometimes it isn't just about how much time you have to speak, it is about how much you say in your time.

Dodd: 2202 words in 556 seconds = 3.960 words per second (w/s)
Edwards: 2478 words in 740 seconds = 3.349 w/s
Biden: 1402 words in 443 seconds = 3.165 w/s
Kuci: 1423 words in 451 seconds = 3.155 w/s
Obama: 2582 words in 847 seconds = 3.048 w/s
Clinton: 3153 words in 1034 seconds = 2.991 w/s
Gravel: 776 words in 267 seconds = 2.906 w/s
Richardson: 1948 words in 724 seconds = 2.691 w/s

There you have it, folks. Dodd is a fast talker. Richardson is a rambler. The real questions comes is about Clinton. Did they count her cackling laughs in her talking time? Because that could push her up in the 3 w/s range!

*Our formula is based upon the following formula,
D=RT. If D=Distance(in this case number of words spoken), R=Rate of speaking and T=Time Alloted, then we can calculate R as such, R=D/T. D and T are given, so R is simple to find.**

**I used to be a math teacher.^

^But don't worry, I was the cool kind.


Peace Czar said...

"The other day I asked my brother-in-law, 'why?'

He said, 'why what?'

I said, 'y = mx + b'. I'm a math teacher. What's your name?"

Shawn's got my calculator


Peace Czar said...

When computing an average for the field, it's 15488 words over 5062 seconds, yielding a 3.059 w/s average. Dodd is off the charts, and Richardson, even when on message, has that cowboy drawl!

I wonder what the standard deviations are... but I won't go there.