Pictures of a Thousand Words | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pictures of a Thousand Words

How will Gov. Tom Corbett's administration differ from Ed Rendell's? One hint may be found in these "word clouds," compiled with the online program Wordle. The cloud on top reflects the most repeated words used by Corbett in his inaugural speech -- with the largest words having been used the most often. The cloud on bottom is based on the words Rendell used most often in his first inaugural speech, in January 2003. (The name "Pennsylvania" and related words were removed to highlight contrasts.)

Some appearances may be misleading: The word "justice" crops up in Rendell's cloud, for example, because he spoke at length about his wife --a federal judge -- swearing him in as governor.

Still, it's no accident that Corbett's most-used word by far was "government," which came in for a drubbing (as in "Government has spent beyond its means") throughout his speech. Corbett was also much more likely to use religious words like "God" and "bless."

Conversely, education played a much larger part in Rendell's address, as did references to cities and mayors. He was also far more likely to refer to Pennsylvania's natural beauty, tying it to environmental principles. (Corbett, meanwhile, spoke little about the state's geography, except to refer to its resources.) Rendell's speech is peppered with references to a state in "crisis" -- a word Corbett never used. Corbett did, however, repeatedly call for courage ... something you might want to think about if you're an environmentalist or a teacher.

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