152 years ago this afternoon, President Lincoln delivered one of his most famous speeches. At the time, it was considered a flop (or “The Flop That Popped” in the words of Salvador Litvak), but today we treat it like the gold standard of Presidential communication.
Now that’s not to knock it; it’s an important speech. But by today’s writing standards, it’s anything but clear. Don’t believe me? Check out what happens when you run the address through Hemingway:
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