The language used in “A More Perfect Union” by Barack Obama is formal but understandable by the general public. The speaker uses accessible words even when he talks figuratively— “this nation's original sin of slavery” (ll. 13-14). 

Choice of words

The choice of words is context-related and it includes references to American history—especially that of race relations and racial issues, to politics and political events, as well as to religion. There are references to biblical events, judicial trials, and key historical movements in US history. The speaker uses various nouns and adjectives that focus on emotions, particularity related to anger and hope which illustrate how some people in the US feel about race relations.

Notable examples of words or phrases that generate positive emotions are: “perfect” (l. 3), “unyielding faith in the decency and generosity” (ll. 48-49), “the love” (l. 185).

Notable examples of words or phrases with negative c...

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