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Hyphens tell us who wrote op-ed on Trump

7th September 2018

Looking at the way the op-ed is written I suspect that Jeff Sessions or his speechwriter (Rod Rosenstein?) wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed on Trump.

I've noticed the following linguistic similarites between the op-ed and the text of speeches given by Jeff Sessions:

  1. Use of hyphens for emphasis
  2. Starting sentences with conjunctions such as 'And', 'But' and 'Or'

Use of hyphens for emphasis

In the op-ed hyphenation is used for emphasis:
"The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many...."
"in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over."

Jeff Sessions 'Legislative Day' speech March 7 2018 justice.gov
"We admit 1.1 million immigrants lawfully to permanent legal status — green card status — every year"
"California is using every power it has — and some it doesn’t — to frustrate federal law enforcement."

Jeff Sessions 'Church Leaders' speech June 14 2018 justice.gov
"We have an historic opportunity to — finally — fix an immigration system..."
"and the percentage of meritorious asylum claims — those actually granted — declined."

Starting sentences with conjunctions such as 'And', 'But' and 'Or'

'But' used seven times at start of sentence in op-ed.
'Or' used four times at start of sentence in op-ed.
'And' used once at start of sentence in op-ed.

In the 'Legislative Day' speech:
'But' used five times at start of sentence
'Or' used once at start of sentence
'And' used twelve times at start of sentence.

In the 'Church Leaders' speech:
'But' used six times at start of sentence.
'Or' used once at start of sentence.
'And' used four times at start of sentence.