The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Wordle Analysis of the Popes

Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 31, 2013 - 9:53am

Via Jeff Rice, a website about visualization:

"In these word cloud visualizations the vocabulary differences are more striking. Francis clearly emphasized poverty and poor far more. Interestingly, he also invoked the words cross, courage, and flesh far more than his predecessor did. This suggests he referred in his speeches far more often to the example and sacrifice of Jesus. Importantly, Francis also emphasized women much more than Benedict XVI.

"Benedict XVI’s language showed emphasis on more terms relevant to the Catholic Church as an institution: apostolic, apostles, priests, ecclesial, diocese, parish, etc. He also used more words indicating the formal address of a diplomat; the words cordial and cordially stick out, as well as collaboration and country.

"All this suggests that from the start of his papacy, Francis has focused on speaking directly to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. He does not emphasize the importance of the Church as an institution. With simple language, he emphasizes the need for Catholics to follow the example of Jesus, to serve people who have been marginalized by the world, and especially the many poor who he sees as excluded from the global economy."

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