Premier Brown’s speech by the numbers

Where was the focus of Premier Brown’s speech at the recent PLP annual banquet?

In order to answer this question, lets use the 21Square favorite method of counting the number of times specific words appear.

me: occurs 29 times
I:  occurs 66 times
we:  occurs 77 times
us: occurs 11 times
you:  occurs 93 times
they: occurs 42 times
them: occurs 12 times.

Since ‘I’ and ‘me’ are interchangeable, lets combine them to 95 times.

Since ‘we’ and ‘us’ are interchangeable, lets combine them to 88 times.

Since ‘they’ and ‘them’ are interchangeable, lets combine them to 54 times. 

Lets just ignore the fact that he also used ‘my’ 51 times.


Royal Gazette version:


YouTube version:

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38 thoughts on “Premier Brown’s speech by the numbers

  1. And each of the 900 times he said MORAL AUTHORITY he made it sound like a dirty word.

  2. Reading that speech again I begin to wonder if Dr Brown is not totally unhinged.

  3. Hi Denis,
    I’m sorry but I can’t help thinking such a superficial analysis is really of any benefit. On the face of it, sure, it makes an impression, and to those who believe that Dr. Brown is all about himself its only going to confirm what they already believe.
    Two questions though:
    1) Other than layman psychological mythology, is there any evidence that would indicate that the frequency of various pronouns in prose speech is indicative of the speakers personality and placement on a continuum of ‘selfishness’ and ‘altruism?’
    2) Can you provide some comparisons with other speeches, say from the Opposition Leader, previous Premiers during election periods, other famous and relatively contempary speeches? Say Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Clinton, George Bush, any of the current US Presidential cadidates, so on and so forth?
    It really would be interesting, and will perhaps reveal whether there is a statistical difference between speeches. of course, there are other factors at play, but perhaps it will be indicative nonetheless. Oh, and do we have statistics on pronoun frequency in general speech, you know, on average, for English?

  4. Reading this speech online, I wasn’t particularly encouraged. It was pretty much the UBP is evil and malicious, and that the print media are in bed with the UBP.
    That in mind, the speech was aimed at the party members and was to serve as a rallying cry for them, not a request for the votes of the undecided, swing or even anti-PLP voters.

  5. I am sorry Denis, your obvious dislike for Dr Brown has clouded your judgment. What exactly is the point of this post? How many times he used certain pronouns?
    You didnt hit on any topical issues within the speech –
    you failed to mention the Grant Gibbons Telebermuda issues…
    – you failed to mention Bob Richards campaign of misinformation regarding limos
    – you failed to mention Bob Richards threat/promise to leave bermuda if the PLP won in ’98 which he has yet to fulfill
    – you failed to mention the fact that the UBP are so up in arms over the BHC investigation yet have failed to hardly even acknowledge that the files were stolen
    – you failed to mention that David Dodwell refuses to give credit to the PLP but is expanding his hotel at epic proportions
    – you failed to mention the conflict of interest with David Dodwell as Minister of Tourism and owning hotel properties in Bermuda and the Caribbean
    I find it hard to believe that of that entire speech, all you could do was count pronouns and not address anything to do with the actual content.
    I guess this really is the silly season.

  6. J Starling,
    I made no mention about ‘selfishness’ or ‘altruism’, I simply offered an analysis of what the speech was about based upon the frequency of certain words.
    Unless I’m mistaken, the speech was primarily focused on issues related to Premier Brown and his feelings towards current events, was it not?
    Hmm, compare it to other speeches, interesting experiment. Unfortunately I’ve had to make do with what I could find on short notice.
    Martin Luthor King Jr.
    “I have a dream”
    me: 0 times
    I: 5 times
    we: 25 times
    us: 4 times
    you: 8 times
    they: 3 times
    them: 0 times
    Michael Dunkley
    “We deserve better”
    me: 0 times
    I: 2 times
    we: 8 times
    us: 4 times
    you: 5 times
    they: 1 times
    them: 1 times
    Premier Alex Scott to the PLP Founders Day Luncheon on Sunday, 29 February 2004 (
    me: 7 times
    I: 22 times
    we: 52 times
    us: 10 times
    you: 6 times
    they: 15 times
    them: 2 times
    President George W. Bush: Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, Sept 2001
    me: 3 times
    I: 12 times
    we: 27 times
    us: 6 times
    you: 18 times
    they: 11 times
    them: 5 times
    Bill Clinton: State of the Union, January 19th 1999
    me: 8 times
    I: 85 times
    we: 155 times
    us: 15 times
    you: 43 times
    they: 23 times
    them: 14 times
    Bill Clinton: “I have sinned”, Sept 11th, 1998
    me: 13 times
    I: 47 times
    we: 6 times
    us: 7 times
    you: 8 times
    they: 1 times
    them: 1 times

  7. Ken,
    You missed that I failed to mention how no race in Bermuda other than blacks have been subject to slavery or racial injustices.
    Oh, that’s right, Native American’s don’t matter.

  8. i loved the speech – i see that most whites on this site hated it. dennis u r being totally unfair by doing that Joke stat that biased papers use against politician the hate – ur smart enuff to knoe how unfair it was to dissect hie speech out of context – we could do the same with the MLKj rs I have a Dream Speech if need be.
    be fair dp – when a later who within a year has had as much poison ink spent on him by the local racist media – how could dr. brown not make a speech in response to what is said about him.
    if u really were on your game you would look at howm any negative terms are used by the RG/MO do talk about Dr. Brown and how many positive terms are used to describe dunkley
    i’ve seen u do this sort of data disection excellently with school numbers etc – but take a page from the freakonomics guys and break down everything.
    if the media spends its time obsessed with dr, brown – than obviously in his “response” he will have to use the pronouns that you cite.
    lastly – i hope that limey isn’t spelling dunleavy and going to simply spout the same “i hate blk people” rhetoric that his buddy dunleavy has started – but if limey is fair – fairness will come to him

  9. i loved the dr, brown speech – i see that most whites on this site hated it. dennis u r being totally unfair by doing that Joke stat that biased papers use against politician the hate – ur smart enuff to knoe how unfair it was to dissect his speech out of context – we could do the same with MLK jrs I have a Dream Speech to prove aparticular point if u wanted.
    be fair dp – when a leader who within a year has had as much poison ink spent on him by the local racist media – how could dr. brown not make a speech in response to what is said about him with out using as many pro-nouns as u cited. if the media spends its time obsessed with dr, brown – than obviously in his “response” he will have to use the pronouns that you cite.
    if u really were on your game you would look at how any negative terms are used by the RG/MO to talk about Dr. Brown and how many positive terms are used to describe dunkley
    i’ve seen u do this sort of data disection excellently with school numbers etc – but take a page from the freakonomics guys and break down everything.
    lastly – i hope that limey isn’t just filling in for dunleavy and going to simply spout the same “i hate blk people” rhetoric that his buddy dunleavy has started – but if limey is fair – fairness will come to him

  10. First off, I have nothing against Premier Brown personally though I have made no effort to hide the fact that I’m not fond of his style of leadership.
    Second, I made no presumptions and let the numbers speak for themselves. If thats what each of you have pulled out of it, than so be it. It is up to you to gather from it what you like.
    Third, a speech like that should have occured within days of the first publications of the BHC allegations, not months later after having fought it all the way to the Privy Council.
    We’re now in election time. What I’m witnessing is an election that’s looking more and more like it’ll be the “who’s the most corrupt” campaign as each tries to smear the other. It’s dirty and disappointing.
    Premier Brown and the PLP very easily could have enacted proper anti-corruption legislation, whistleblower protection and freedom of information legislation when they came into power as an answer to putting and end to past corruption.
    They did not, so to use past corruption now as a scapegoat for excusing present corruption is a weak arguement. The speech was strong enough without it.
    There were good points and bad points in the speech and I was busy analysing the whole thing, but when I got around to black people having been the only ones to suffer racial injustices and slavery in Bermuda I’d had about enough.

  11. Hi Denis! I hope you’ll forgive me, I had taken it that you were implicitly making a point that Dr. Brown was egotistical based on your review of the stats.
    Thankyou for doing the analyses so quickly. It would be better to break it down into percentages though?

  12. i hope that limey is fair in his new blog and that he isn’t simply taking up the racist mantle from dunleavy – he needs to know the karmic maxim – if u put out fairness and goodness – goodness and fairness comes back to you.

  13. Hey Vanz! Don’t you mean to be commenting on the thread concerning Limey being back as opposed to the one about the Banquet speech? It jsut seems a little out of place here.

  14. This is NOT an analysis; rather, it is a lack thereof. All Denis did was count the number of occurrences of certain words in a speech… that’s not an analysis.
    Most commenters see it as Denis’ way of implying that Premier Brown is somehow egocentric. They could be wrong, but one cannot be sure because there is NO analysis! What do the numbers mean to you Denis? Wouldn’t that be the point of writing such an article?

  15. Interesting to see the way people (Vanz particularly) have responded to a blog posting that did nothing more than summarise the frequency and type of pronouns used in Dr. Brown’s speech.
    This knee jerk reaction and immediate counter-attack with accusations of racism is unfortunately so typical of certain PLP supporters whose myopic and clouded view on life (even while resident in another country) is so utterly counter-productive.

  16. As this is one of the few blogs still open to comments, I expect it will undergo the typical Vanz assault. It’s a pity.

  17. Get ready for the flood of hate,45 days of whining based on victimization and entitlement.
    why do you and your fellow comrades and race pimps, choose to live in Canada and “white countries”?
    You belong in Cuba,Liberia,Zimbabwe,Sierra Leon and other repressive regimes.

  18. What a shame – I have about reached the point where I simply pass over one regular contributor’s comments. For a long time I actually enjoyed what he had to say. Make no mistake, I did not always agree with him, but felt he had something useful to contribute. However, I now find his comments predictable and not worth my time.
    “The true opposite of love, is not hate, but indifference. Hate bad as it is, at least acknowledges the other person, but indifference essentially means he/she doesn’t exist…
    The lowest point in Christian morality is manifest in the statement: “I could not care less!”

  19. I liked the analysis, it was quick, sharp and with no editorial note. I was thinking the exact same thing reading the article and fuming over all 88 ‘we’s and ‘us’ knowing that in Dr. Brown’s vision of Bermuda only black Bermudians are Bermudian and that I was firmly in the ‘they’ camp.”

  20. I do enjoy and learn from the coments.
    As vance is just like his MOMA,what i do is check the title,and omit to read those by vance.
    Then i completely enjoy all the coments.
    thank you.

  21. harry u r right – i’ve seen the light – blk bda is bad – white bda is good – plp is bad – ubp is good – “dr.” brown is bad – the white given the island’s only dairy by his dad is good. davida morrs is a bad candidate – tilman darrell is a good one – and so on…
    maybe u should move to new zealand

  22. U got it Vanz…
    Tillman Darrell, who admittedly in the RG punched an elderly gentleman, is a wonderful candidate.
    UBP supporters will vote for a donkey if it had the letters UBP after it. Just so that a PLP person won’t win that seat.

  23. Vanz, do you really think you represent black bermuda? If so why don’t you run for a seat and see if you get their support…oops, can’t do that in Canada can you. My bad. I guess it’s only semi-anonymous harassment for you. Carry on.
    Everyone else,
    It seems as though the Premier’s strategy for dealing with BHC is to ignore it and press on with the UBP conspiracy and hope nobody notices the undeniable falsity of that ploy.
    If anyone undecided is trying to make up their mind, I would suggest they read the Premier’s speech and read Mr. Darrell’s interview back-to-back and then make up your own mind.§ionId=117
    I would be interested to hear what some of the “swing voters” have to say (and by that I don’t mean Vanz trying to impersonate one under a hastily contrived pseudonym).
    For me, I thought the premier claiming he has the moral high ground was pretty funny. With his “Bring it on” comments he sounds more like George Bush than anything else. The media, and especially the opposition should really be pointing out that he has not lifted his injunction regarding his libel suit yet. Let’s “bring that on” before engaging in empty machismo shall we?
    1. a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.

  24. Harry,
    Your comment has added nothing positive to the discussion and simply served to instigate and irritate others.
    What’s the point? If you’ve got nothing constructive to add and are only intent on pointing out others, don’t bother commenting.
    The same goes for everyone else who chooses to do the same

  25. i’m confused – silence if u think that i’m trying to impersonate someone else under a hastily contrived pseudonym – i’m flattered – but alas it wasn’t me – now that the election has been called u will see people truly expressing their distaste 4 the UBP – so pls if u must delude urself into thinking that blk bda will somehow vote UBP – go on and smoke that pipe, brother – but blks will look at teh PLP and UBP candidates side by side and vote UBP – i mean do u want terry lister or Donald Hassell – tilman darrell or davida morris – dale butler or darrius tucker – paula cox or jeff sousa – u do the math, brother.

  26. Vanz,
    I was referring to your attempt to do so as “whitey”, but you knew that already.
    I’m not sure why you have a problem with my comment. All I reccomended is that undecided voters read Dr. Brown’s speech and Mr. Darrell’s interview and make up their own minds. I assume you have no issue with people reading Dr. Brown’s speech. So, do you have a problem with people reading Mr. Darrell’s interview? If so, why? Or is it a problem with people making up their own minds? Again, if so, why? Both?
    I also don’t know why you think it’s necessary to posture about what will happen with the election. (I would think after the Privy Council ruling blew up in your face you’d have learned its a bad idea to posture.) I see no need to argue, particularly since I haven’t made a prediction of who will win just that I think its anyone’s game and the cult of PLP invincibility is false.
    In any event, we’ll find out soon enough.
    As for your comparisons, I don’t see the need to respond unless you make a point. What is your point?
    You are constantly opining that the PLP is better, but I’ve yet to hear a solid argument for why. You seem limited to making unsupported comments to the effect of “Brown is great, everyone is else is stupid or racist”. If you really think that, fine, but if you want to engage me in a debate explain why your beliefs. (where have I said this before?)
    I sincerely doubt there is any valid criticism which can be made against a member of the opposition which cannot also be made against a member of the PLP.
    But now that I think about it, why are you so intent on focusing on the candidates’ personalities? The government has been in power for almost a 10 years–is there a reason why you don’t want to talk about their record as the top issue? Surely Dr. Brown can point to the 1998 platform and discuss specific, concrete examples of what has been resolved, and what progress has been made on unresolved issues. I’m very open to hearing about these things.

  27. “i’m confused – silence if u think that i’m trying to impersonate someone else under a hastily contrived pseudonym – i’m flattered – but alas it wasn’t me”
    HA! Are you kidding… This is typical Vanz, proved over and over… ask any moderator on any blog and ask them how many times Vanz has tried this ‘trick’… like he actually thought that his very own stylized syntax would go undetected (He’s actually a writer ya know).
    Without a doubt, no matter what the result, we will see a marked loss of support for the PLP. Then Vanz can catch up with the rest of the math class.

  28. point blank – after looking at the UBP candidates – reading what their accomplishments are etc – do u thunk that the UBP would male a better govt.?
    re; 98 – dr. brown wasn’t premier so that was hardly his platform – he’s obviously been effective in the cabinet roles that he’s had – he’s been successful academically and professionally and he’s got some great things done in the 1 year that he’s been premier.
    if he were white or an uncle tom ya’ll would call him a national hero – sad but true

  29. Let’s set the stage straight before you call this e-mail from a “White Racist” or “Black Uncle Tom. I’m a Bermudian of colour.
    The “BIG” conversation in its present form is doing much more to divide Bermuda than to bring us together. Dr. Brown’s adversarial approach will totally fail… History supports this! You only have to look at the hatred on ALL of Bermuda’s blogs to realize where this will all end up. NOBODY’s listening and everyone’s “RIGHT”. Everyone’s sensing a threat… so, based on what I see today, the rhetoric will continue for years; and so will the polarization of Bermudians based on race. In a small place like Bermuda, this is truly disastrous. The BIG conversation approach is, at best, ill conceived.
    Let’s not kid ourselves Dr. Brown is NO MARTIN LUTHER KING. Those who believe he’s the MLK of Bermuda are gullible. Just ask Dame Louis Brown Evans. You’re all sucked into his American style politics; where at almost all times the truth is unrecognizable. Has tourism really improved? Are we really better of today than we were in 1998, or even a year ago? I’m not worried about myself, I’m truly worried about my children’s future…I believe there will be fewer opportunities for highly educated Bermudians going forward if we’re pushed of the International plateau.
    In my opinion, to get my vote he’ll need to show much more patience, integrity, humility, respect, consultation, better strategic thinking, better understanding of business and a genuine care for Bermuda and Bermudians at large. I look and listen to him and the policies he’s now putting into place and I don’t get that confidence… Yes, I say Brown…because as long as he’s heading the PLP I won’t vote for them, as he appears to have TOTAL control of everything.
    Here are the things he should focus on: education, education, education and education. The Irish were able to turn their country around by focusing on education, with our resources we should be able to achieve the same; and sooner. I’m sure his mother thought the same, and that’s why he left Bermuda. Let’s stop making excuses about “what” happened. Our future is now dependent on what we do from here on in. This should be our SOLE focus. My mother taught me that a very longtime ago! What we do today, will determine where we’ll be tomorrow…
    This is MY OPINION based on my observations; and, I’m certainly entitled it.
    P.S. BHC scandal et al. If you leave a door open, someone will enter! Why open the door in the first place? We don’t need door openers…

  30. coolieh, u state that, “My mother taught me that a very longtime ago! What we do today, will determine where we’ll be tomorrow…” but isn’t this why the UBP is in the process of being dissolved right now – “My mother taught me that a very longtime ago! What we do today, will determine where we’ll be tomorrow…”
    and don’t be sill – the future is and always has been an extension of the past and present – this, lets just move on from now is nonsense political rhetoric – it’s what an abusive husband tells his wife – i beat ur ass yesterday – but let’s move on today – things will change – studies show that they won’t – the UBP will not be new and cuddly and fair it will be what it always has been the party of the white elite and the uncle toms who they let in.
    re the irish – they only just goty some semblence of humanity after 100 years of killing and bombing the british – pls watch the film, the wind that shakes the barley – which documents the birth of the irish resistance – progress was made only after bloodshed and sheer reluctance from the british – so pls – act like u know if u r going to reference history.
    finally understand that the blk heroes of today frightened blks and white so of yesterday – ali was dissed by the average blk man for being a muslim as was malcolm x – mlk was dissed because the whites said that he was a communist and poor blks dissed him because he was middle class – in retrospect they were good men – don’t make the same mistake w/ dr. brown – don’t find urself old and watching ur grandchildren become 2nd class citizens like ur grandparents were because u dd not make the right choice – what can the UBP really do to move this country fwd?

  31. Vanz:
    What we do today, will determine where we’ll be tomorrow… Still believe despite what you think… Sow rotten seeds and what do you get?
    Irish? Not referring to NI, but merely to how Southern Ireland (and agriculture based and once poor nation) has transformed itself to an intellectual capital region. You should read more recent history. It’s what happens today that matters most!
    MLK did more for black folk…and what was his approach? He gained respect on both sides… Ali is in a world of his own. His respect mostly came about as a result of his relentless humanitarian work and his impressiveness as a fighter; people listened to what he said. Never did I hear of either of these two men being indignant to others; or remotely tied to controversies like Brown. The latter I care little to discuss further.
    MORE IMPORTANTLY, please explain the Brown philosophy to the entire Board. No more rhetoric. Although I don’t post often, I’ve been reading your comments on many Bermuda boards. Instead of taking the low road as you ALWAYS do, please say something meaningful that will help debate (sticking only to facts). Aggressive language and poor debate get us nowhere. No spin!
    Please answer this with intelligent and balanced views, or don’t bother to respond to me. Of course, that’s why I don’t bother to post much. Please speak to facts about the Brown platform and his vision for Bermuda versus that of the UBP. Why should anyone vote PLP?
    That’s all that matters in the next 45days!
    P.S. The fact that I’m black is not good enough! I do not believe that tourism has turned around. Neither am I impressed with the Gram Slam, we used to have the Gillette sponsored PGA tournament here before… What do these things have to do with the most pressing issues of the day anyway? I’m certainly not impressed with the Southlands fiasco either! I can go on, so try to be very persuasive…

  32. good luck w/ everything coolieh – and i doubt that u r blk – no blk person would say, “The fact that I’m black…” but u did have me going for a second.

  33. Vanz:
    I don’t have to prove who I am; but I can say that I was a year ahead of you at BI. This should be sufficient enough for you… I also know you haven’t lived here in Bermuda for many years.
    Sorry you didn’t answer my question. You really lost a good opportunity to not only to convince me but all others on the board.
    All the best to you up there in Toronto! I’m sure it’s snowing now… Perhaps we’ll see you here for December’s main event?

  34. and coolieh – this was not a PGA event: ”
    Published: September 30, 1998
    Jim Furyk knocked a 3-iron 10 feet from the hole in a sudden-death, closest-to-the-pin three-way playoff, lifting his team to victory in the $1.8 million Gillette Tour Challenge Championship yesterday in Tucker’s Town, Bermuda.
    – this is yet another attempt at trying to play down the fact that Brown got the PGA to hold a major event here – not a small feat.

  35. Vanz:
    As I said before, this is a minor issue for voters. The Gillette Tour Challenge was also a PGA sanctioned event, which got the same PGA press cover (and actually brought more people here because it involved all three major tours). If you look back, Mid Ocean also held The Merrill Lynch Shoot-out; another PGA sanctioned event. Neither tournament involved significant outlays of public funds, a far as I’m aware. The PGA has had long ties with Bermuda. In fact, as I attended this year’s event (and the attendance was not reflective of Bermuda’s make up), I learned that the designer of the Mid Ocean golf course was a world-renowned (and certainly highly respected within the PGA) American golf course developer. It was American that developed this; of course at the expense of some of my relatives.
    Anyway, I’m not taking anything away from the event. I just don’t think a golf tournament is what voters are interested in. Most people couldn’t attend this year’s event anyway because it was held during the workweek. The average Bermudian was not affected.
    Please, I don’t want to get caught up in myopic discussions.
    Can we talk about REAL issues as I outlined in my previous post… Otherwise, I will not respond to your further posts.
    P.S. Note: I don’t see leaders of other countries busying themselves with glitzy Tourism events…and yes I can name a few events. Bermuda’s Leader should let some other capable person handle Tourism, as in the past. There are too many bigger issues for Bermuda’s Leader (whomever that might be) to address. Over the past 8 months the people’s business has suffered too much! I wonder how many legislative initiatives are now cued?

  36. in the year that he’s been premier do u think that brown has been:
    a.) very effective
    b.) effective
    c.) so so
    d.) not effective at all
    do u believe that the plp or the ubp are best equipped to move this country fwd?
    i’m pro life – my wife is pro choice – we’ve argued about this since we met – neither of us will change no matter how powerful the argument – my wife is hindu – i’m christian niether of us will ever switch religions maybe politics in bda is like that – i believe in the plp the way i believe in the pro life movement, blk empowerment and being a christian – nobody had to convince – i saw and see for my own eyes what the party is about – this nonsense that the party is not the freddie wade party anymore is ridiculous – wade is the one who bought dr. brown back from the US – as far as dame evans not liking him – maybe maybe not – but she didn’t like gilbert darrell who was one of the best politicans that bda ever had. at this point if u feel that the ubp is ur best bet go for it – nothing i can say will change ur mind.

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