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Jamaica After Obama: Greetings Massive! - Analysis of Obama's remarks at town hall with young leaders of the Americas

Published:Wednesday | April 6, 2016 | 4:00 AM

"Greetings, massive! Wah gwaan, Jamaica?" may be the most memorable words spoken by Barack Obama during his visit to Jamaica in April of last year.

The use of Jamaican creole by a United States president was indeed seen as a high point for Jamaica.

That greeting, which filled Jamaicans with pride, was the launching pad for remarks delivered by Obama at a town-hall meeting with young leaders.

In reflecting on the one-year anniversary of Obama's visit, The Gleaner has used open-source software to analyse and generate word clouds from the remarks which were delivered by the president at the meeting.

Word clouds can be a very useful tool for analysing speeches and tracking the evolving thoughts of leaders.

The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in a body of text.

The word clouds show that 'young' and 'people' were the most frequently used words, both appearing 12 times.

This could reflect the fact that the audience he was speaking to largely comprised young people.

In second place, appearing 11 times in the president's remarks was the word 'leaders', followed closely by the word 'Americas', which was mentioned 10 times. This reflects the fact that the town hall brought together youth leaders from across the Americas.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com