Sheila Jackson Lee: Smartest Person in Congress, Vocabulary Study Says
Because (we guess) someone had to do it, a guy named Dan Kozikowski took to his Tumblr account to announce the results of a massive study of the vocabulary used in floor speeches by current members of Congress.
He judged them by the "word diversity," which he defined as "how frequently a rep uses SAT words vs. usage of a basket of common words."
And there were some other criteria, much too boring to go into unless you're a word/stats nerd.
The point is, the person who came out with the highest score -- well ahead of the second-place finisher, in fact -- was our own Sheila Jackson Lee.
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Jackson Lee had an "SQPD Index value" (don't ask) of 4.79, and second-place Christopher Smith of New Jersey was at 2.98. Dennis Kucinich came in third a 1.00, and everyone else couldn't break the "one" barrier.
Jackson Lee -- who after all did graduate from Yale and the University of Virginia law school -- told The Hill she was surprised:
Jackson Lee, an avid reader, told us in a phone chat that when she talks, she tries to speak from the heart: "I don't study the dictionary, though I love the idea of the written language and the spoken word, because I believe it's important to explain to the people just what you're doing."
When asked if she was surprised by her new title as Capitol Hill's vocab queen, the congresswoman replied, "It sure shocked me," before adding with a laugh, "Now I have this burden of going on the [House] floor and not making any mistakes!"
Of course, having the largest vocabulary doesn't automatically translate to being the smartest. But let's give Jackson Lee her due, which we're sure the conservative commenters will.
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