A Donald Trump Keyboard

Cover Image for A Donald Trump Keyboard
Morten Just

You may see yourself as pretty good at writing emails. You learned how to write long and precise sentences, and it was hard work, but worth it. Your email’s recipient went to school and learned how to read long and precise sentences. You know this. You can be precise and long-winded. They will get it.

The worst possible conditions

In real life, your email will not be printed and brought to a Japanese garden, read and re-read, with a highlighter in one hand, ice tea in the other.

More likely, it will be brought up on a display in a noisy office, on a plane, under a conference table, on a bumpy bus, or a noisy coffee shop. Other people will be tapping the readers’ shoulder, asking them questions, texts will pour in, and someone on Twitter will mention them, while notifications buzz in their pockets.

Distractions slows your otherwise well-educated reader down to the reading level of a sixth grader just before the lunch break. You will have to ask yourself: Should I write for a lower reading level? Would it equip my message with better odds of being read and replied to? Let’s try. And what better master to learn from than the Donald himself?


The Trump Keyboard will help you find out which level you’re writing for. It has a real-time grade-o-meter right right above the letter keys. As you type, its indicator moves up and down the educational itinerary.

The grade scoring is calculated with the Flesch–Kincaid readability test. Originally developed for the US Army, the formula is the go-to way of measuring the ease of reading for a text in the US government, such as the Social Security Administration and the PMC. Some states even require certain letters from the government to clock in at a specific reading level.

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The Fleisch-Kincaid formula, Wikipedia

If you accidentally slip into university territory, the grade-o-meter will let you know, and you can fix your writing. That would happen if, for example, you are Stephen Hawking talking about Trump:

Even more like trump

That’s the grade-o-meter, useful for writing for the distracted mind. But there’s a setting in the Trump Keyboard that will let the keyboard go the extra mile.

The word replacer tunes your prose to be more consistent by using less unique words, a lot like Trump. And of course, they help you figure out people’s real names:

You can turn off the word replacer in the keyboard’s settings.

Readability of the union

You could say that this keyboard is dumbing down your messages, or you could say it’s preparing them to survive in a harsh climate of distractions. It looks like simple speech worked for Trump over the last year.

Yet still, some people seem to think that the harder it is to understand something, the smarter it must be. My beloved haters told me that a few months ago. And here’s the Guardian.

Or the state of our union is smarter, because we spend our cycles on thinking, rather than understanding.

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