The We-have-to/You-have-to challenge

February 29, 2008

The We/You have challenge  

If you saw my recent post (below) on you-have-to and we-have-to then you’ll know that I’m very interested in why Obama and Clinton use these phrases with such different frequencies and how Obama and Clinton use these phrases in the first place.

From some recent research that we’ve conducted, we’ve learned that the majority of people only need three words in order to be able to tell the genre of a text. That is, if I give you three words then you’ll be able to tell me whether that text is from a science book, a history book, or whether it is from a story. Let’s try extending that approach to Obama-speak and Clinton-speak …

Below you’ll see a table of parts of sentences used by Clinton and Obama. Each entry features either you-have-to or we-have-to PLUS the next three words in the sentence. All you have to do is write down whether you think those 6 words (i.e., you have to/we have to + three words) came from Obama or from Clinton.

Write O if you think Obama.

Write C if you think Clinton.

(The answers come later …)

  

1

 

we have to be ready for

2

 

we have to initiate the kind

3

 

you have to look at this

4

 

we have to say to president

5

 

we have to be very conscious

6

 

we have to treat each other

7

 

you have to be able to

8

 

we have to have our parents

9

 

we have to untangle ourselves and

10

 

we have to be very, very

11

 

we have to do is create

12

 

we have to have civilian options

13

 

we have to make early on.

14

 

we have to make sure that

    

OK … check your answers here …

  

1

C

we have to be ready for

2

O

we have to initiate the kind

3

C

you have to look at this

4

C

we have to say to president

5

C

we have to be very conscious

6

O

we have to treat each other

7

C

you have to be able to

8

O

we have to have our parents

9

C

we have to untangle ourselves and

10

C

we have to be very, very

11

O

we have to do is create

12

O

we have to have civilian options

13

O

we have to make early on.

14

O

we have to make sure that

  

How did you do?

Let us know what you’re score was by using the comment box … and maybe let us know what led you to your decisions …

  

And you can see a much larger chunk of where those 6 words came from here …

  

Clinton
 
You have to

 toward the united states.  but you can’t just — you have to be very careful about how

you know, it’s different parts of the country. so you have to look at this across the board

ublican colleague from south carolina.  you know, you have to look to find common

so, i mean, you’ve got to stay on top of this and you have to manage it all the time. that

ve and budget proposals for the congress, because you have to move quickly in order to

nd, clearly, one of the principal lessons is that you have to have a very strong

g the tone, bringing people together. but i think you have to be able to manage and run

a that is actually going to make a difference. do you have to stand up to the lobbyists?

u determine what will happen in the future? well, you have to look to the record, you

t of our campaign — this is about the two of us. you have to, as voters, determine who

age no matter who you are or where you came from. you have to raise the money. you

 recognize what both john edwards and i did, that you have to bite this bullet. you have

 
 
We have to

 and many others barely hanging on above. so what we have to do tonight is to have a

 costs.  we have a lot of very intense challenges we have to meet right now.  so what i

 i find that absolutely unacceptable, and i think we have to do everything we can to

 it’s a longer-term problem with social security. we have to deal with both.  part of that

 much about the same things. from my perspective, we have to lower cost, improve

 much about the same things. from my perspective, we have to lower cost, improve

 the values of america. it is a serious question. we have to fix this broken system. but

 to the democratic party and to america.  but now we have to decide who would be the

administration.  so where we are today means that we have to say to president

also meant at that same time, because, obviously, we have to be responsible, we have to

d to bombing and so much loss of life and injury. we have to think about what we’re

dent is going to propose, because what happens is we have to have a coalition. and i

e device that could cause such havoc.  so i think we have to be very, very clear. you

e. they have totally abdicated that.  but i think we have to get broader than that. we’ve

ficult process — there are no good options here. we have to untangle ourselves and

here without documentation.” so, i know that what we have to do is to bring our

icans today and what they’re talking to me about. we have to stimulate the economy. i

ition we find ourselves in today. but i think now we have to look at how we go forward.

ng place. they were not taken out at the time. so we have to be very conscious of all the

oward clean, renewable green energy. i think that we have to, you know, break the lock

points. first of all, i have said in my plan that we have to regulate the health insurance

redict what the consequences will be, and i think we have to be ready for whatever they

urrent energy profile in this country. that’s why we have to act. and we will act in a way

ving a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable. we have to try to prevent that at all

ving a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable. we have to try to prevent that at all

we have to get realistic and practical about this.

y by making sure the economy works for everybody. we have to lift up the idea of good

 
 
Obama
You have to

 every year to help you go to college. in return, you have to engage in some form of

 greenhouse gases by a particular level. now what you have to do is you have to

n is not a passive activity; it is something that you have to be actively engaged in.  if we

 
We have to

 folks quite some time. what i do believe is that we have to describe a new foreign

 have the opportunity to be successful there. but we have to finish the job. 

 tv set, we’ve got to put away the video game and we have to tell our children that

 would do is i would cap those subsidies. i think we have to have a structure that

, if we’re going to bring about real change, then we have to bring in the american

.   i think that folks made a terrific point that we have to stand for human rights and that

ald reagan’s policies. but what i did say is that we have to be thinking in the same

avel elsewhere. and that’s something that i think we have to address. there are important

e sometimes this doesn’t get talked enough about. we have to have our parents take

es being foreclosed upon.  one of the things that we have to do is we have to release

hey’re not observing worker safety laws.  so what we have to do is create a

hy this was a mistake, and that’s why not only do we have to bring the war in iraq to a

i think it is the right thing to do.  and i think we have to show leadership on the issue.

inton has a different approach. she believes that we have to force people who don’t have

isagreement with john and i is john believes that we have to have mandatory insurance

k, i have already said, i support the notion that we have to deal with public safety and

know, create a different vision of how, you know, we have to treat each other. and i

le at enormous cost to the american people.  what we have to do is to begin a phased

ly factored in the sacred obligation that i think we have to make sure that every single

n see what the choices are.  because part of what we have to do is enlist the american

nation of immigrants. now, there is no doubt that we have to get control of our borders.

nia and all across the country. and we agree that we have to keep people in their homes.

nment that we’re working with, and secondly, that we have to press them to do more to

onsequences and there are going to be costs.  and we have to be able to communicate

osal that’s in the senate right now.  that’s what we have to fight for.  in the meantime,

r foreign policy is not just end the war in iraq; we have to change the mindset that

resident, i intend to address it. and here’s what we have to do.  we have to, first of all,

ted for it previously. but here’s the point. what we have to do is we’ve got to have

ur combat troops out within 16 months. that’s why we have to initiate the kind of

ved reading scores. that’s the kind of commitment we have to make early on.

very different sentences.  that is something that we have to talk about. but that’s a

we have to have civilian options as well. not just the peace

we have to make sure that we do not hesitate to act when it c

we have to stand up for these issues when it’s tough, and tha

who are going to be retiring. and the first thing we have to do is to put an end to george

by PMM and the IIS-WordWatchers

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2 Responses to “The We-have-to/You-have-to challenge”

  1. Alex Gunz Says:

    I scored 10 out of 14. And the ones I was wrong on were mostly ones I struggled over. Uncanny!

  2. Russell Blakelock Says:

    I guessed all but one correctly. I answered quickly and responded to the immediate image of the candidate, each phrase conjured up in my mind. I think for me Clinton’s immage was more direct, less personal, while Obama”s image was one of happy with uncertainty, and more people focussed.


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