From Language Log:

The opening sentence of George F. Will’s latest column (“Have We Got a Deal for You“, 6/7/2009):

“I,” said the president, who is inordinately fond of the first-person singular pronoun, “want to disabuse people of this notion that somehow we enjoy meddling in the private sector.”

This echoes J.B.S. Haldane’s quip that the creator, if he exists, must be inordinately fond of beetles; and Will, like Haldane, is presumably proposing an inference about someone’s preferences from his actions, not reporting a direct emotional revelation.

So, since I’m one of those narrow-minded fundamentalists who believe that statements can be true or false, and that we should care about the difference, I decided to check. (On Will, not Haldane.)

Based on a few press conferences, it turns out that Obama uses “I” less often than both G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  By the way it looks like I have found a good resource for searching Presidential cheap talk:  The American Presidency Project.

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