Mary DeForest believes in George Orwell's theory that language rooted in Latin and Greek muddies communication and often covers up political agendas. And so she invented the Latinometer, a bullshit detector that analyzes text and determines how many words are rooted in Latin, German, French and Greek, then ranks the writing's pretentiousness on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. If a text scores 20 percent or below, "you see the world in concrete terms," according to the Latinometer. If it's between 20 and 35 percent, "you sound educated." If it's between 35 and 60 percent, "you sound pretentious." And if it's 60 percent or above, "you are probably lying."
With election season ending today, we entered text from the Colorado gubernatorial candidates with navigable websites into Latinometer.com to see how they fared. And the verdict?
Republican Bob Beauprez's "Where We Stand" page scored 46 percent.
Green Party candidate Harry Hempy's About page scored 52 percent.
Governor John Hickenlooper's "Accomplishments" page scored 53 percent.
Independent Mike Dunafon scored 48 percent.
Libertarian Matthew Hess scored 46 percent.
According to Mary DeForest's Latinometer, none of these candidates sounds down-to-earth or smart; they are squarely pretentious -- with our incumbent governor taking the lead.
We also entered the mission statements of several Denver agencies.
The Denver Public Library scored 51 percent.
The Denver Sheriff's Department scored 70 percent.
The Denver District Attorney Office's mission statement scored 73 percent.
The Denver Clerk and Recorder's Office scored 80 percent.
According to the Latinometer, three of those agencies skyrocket past pretentiousness into outright lies. And the Clerk and Recorder's Office, which administers elections, takes the prize for deception potential.
When we ran the Colorado Constitution through the Latinometer, it crashed the system and brought up Error 524.
Have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.