The quality of President Donald Trump’s tweets has noticeably degenerated over the past two years, as a recent analysis found that his sentences have become much more rambling and disconnected from any logical thread.
John McWhorter, a professor of linguistics at Columbia University, has written an essay in The Atlantic in which he zeroes in on the frequent misspellings that pop in throughout the president’s social media posts.
“Wednesday morning, the president… released a tweet referring to ‘forrest fires’ twice, as if these fires were set by Mr. Gump,” McWhorter writes near the start of his essay. “Trump’s serial misuse of public language is one of many shortcomings that betray his lack of fitness for the presidency.”
And why do these misspellings render Trump unfit for the office of the presidency? According to McWhorter, the president’s sloppy missives demonstrate “not just inadequate manners or polish… but inadequate thought.”
McWhorter then looks back to the writings of former President Harry Truman, who was the last American president to not have a college degree. As McWhorter shows, Truman strove to send well written, correctly spelled letters to Bess Wallace, the woman who would become his wife all the way back in 1912.
In fact, Truman even boasted to the future Mrs. Truman at the time that he used a dictionary to make sure he spelled the word “dictionary” correctly.
“Truman, writing to a loved one, wanted to get the word dictionary right,” McWhorter writes. “Trump, writing to the entire nation, is happy with a half-dozen flubs in one terse tweet. The sheer lack of focus on Trump’s part, and by extension, the staff who should be vetting messages like this, is stunning.”