Obama's Use Of 'Extraordinary' Is Getting Pretty Ordinary

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Maybe someone should give President Obama a thesaurus for Christmas this year.

The president is known for his way with words -- especially some of them, including "extraordinary," which he has used at least 450 times since taking office.

During the campaign, "change," "hope" and "promise" were ever-present tools in his rhetorical arsenal.

But in the ten months since taking office, Obama's speech seems to be getting more urgent and forceful. He's already been cited for his overuse of the phrase, "Let me be clear", which has become his windup for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, making speeches in Moscow, Ghana and Italy and delivering stimulus updates.

And he's relied on "unprecedented," using it 129 times in proclamations, speeches and statements, according to Politico.

But he really has a thing for "extraordinary" -- Obama has used the word at least 450 times in speeches and remarks from Inauguration Day through November 25, according to a HuffPost analysis.

In some speeches, Obama has used that word seven times, sometimes squeezing it twice into the same sentence -- specifically during a September 23 speech about the stimulus package, a September 14 speech on financial rescue and reform in New York and during a February 9 news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

And this past summer, especially during his European and African trip, Obama's use of the word was truly out of the ordinary. In June and July, he used the word 49 times and in August, his use peaked at 56.

Interestingly, during dozens of joint appearances with the first lady, Vice President Biden and government officials and foreign leaders, Obama is practically the only one to use the word.

So, as a service to the president and a reminder that a little variety in his vocabulary may just sharpen the impact of his rhetoric, here's a sampling of synonyms for "extraordinary," courtesy of thesaurus.com:

amazing, bizarre, boss, curious, exceptional, fab, fantastic, flash, gnarly, heavy, inconceivable, incredible, marvelous, odd, off beaten path, out of the ordinary, outstanding, particular, peculiar, phenomenal, rare, remarkable, singular, special, strange, stupendous, surprising, terrific, uncommon, unfamiliar, unheard-of, unimaginable, unique, unprecedented, unthinkable, unusual, unwonted, weird, wicked


Barack Obama