Thrifty Words – Quality vs Quantity

It’s been mentioned on this blog before that the longest inaugural speech was by William Henry Harrison, who endured cold and wet weather to deliver his 8445 word address only to die a month later from pneumonia. Well I think just as interesting is that George Washington’s second inaugural address was 135 words long!

Here it is, for all you communication history buffs.  Remember, a concise speech can be harder hitting than a long one:

Fellow Citizens:

I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate.  When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavour to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honour, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.

Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.


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