Did President Barack Obama’s inaugural address seem a little wordy to you? He sure has a tendency to talk a lot during his speeches, doesn’t he? Well, don’t worry. The New York Times has thoughtfully taken a red pencil to the text and voila! Mr. Obama’s second (and final) inaugural address, condensed to only eight minutes. So we can all get back to talking about Michelle’s bangs and making gifs, or whatever it is we do with that extra time now that we don’t have to waste it reading all those words.
“The full transcript of President Obama’s second inaugural speech is available here. But for anyone who wants something shorter, The Times has condensed the speech in a way that keeps its main themes,” the introduction to the now way briefer text reads. “No words have been changed, but roughly 60 percent of the text has been removed.”
It’s tempting to imagine White House speech writers “editing” Times articles. Surely, they can get that profile on J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons down to a page just by removing 60 percent of the text, right?
We were going to remark that the ability to condense a long speech into just eight minutes shows the editorial muscle over at the Times, but then we came across this:
“That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Llife, and Lliberty, and the Ppursuit of Hhappiness – real for every American,” the Times wrote in their shorter version of the speech. “Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life;.” What’s with all the typos? We get it. It’s short and bloggy. But must our standards fall so far?
But wait. BuzzFeed seems to have beat the Times at this game. They managed to cut the video of the address to just 163 seconds. Well, if brevity is the soul of wit…