Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The "Intimidating and Impenetrable Fog"

So I stumbled across something interesting today, a "Readability Index Calculator" (you can find it at http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/), which measures the difficulty of a particular piece of writing. There were actually two standards of measurment, which the website explains thusly:

"The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score indicates how easy a text is to read. A high score implies an easy text. In comparison comics typically score around 90 while legalese can get a score below 10. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level indicates the grade a person will have to have reached to be able to understand the text. E.g. a grade level of 7 means that a seventh grader will be able to understand the text."

Apparently, I'm at graduate-level writing without ever having gone to graduate school. (Doesn't give me much of an incentive to actually go to graduate school, does it?) Anyway, here were my scores for two of my blog posts:

For my "I Am an Archetype, Hear Me Roar!" piece, I scored a 36 on the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score (with 100 being very easy and 0 being very difficult), with a grade level of 15, which I'm assuming is the junior year of college?

For my post on laughter as a signifier of community in James Agee's A Death in the Family, I scored a 34 on the Flesch-Kincaid Read Ease score with a grade level of 18. Again, I'm assuming this means I can write like a grad student. Interestingly enough, however, the "reading ease" score on this post was only slightly lower than the score for my personal essay, which was considered a full three grades easier.

Not actually saying I believe this, just saying it's interesting. Plug something of your own in if you want to try it out.

2 comments:

Chatty Cathy said...

I already know that the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease is going to rate my writing to the level of those "See Jane Run" books.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

See Dick run.
Run, Dick, run.
Oh, no!
See Dick fall.
Fall, Dick, fall.
...
What a dick.

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