April 27, 2005


I took the readability test (found via Ann Althouse). Here are my results:

Gunning Fog Index 7.49
Flesch Reading Ease 72.29
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 4.70

This means that my blog is written at anywhere between a fifth and eighth grade reading level. I am actually quite proud of that result. My mission here, as in my legal career, is to keep the prose short, sweet, and simple.

I can certainly keep up with pretentious and wordy authors. After all, based on the generalist nature of my college education and subsequent career, I have both a wide and deep vocabulary. Learning how to read and write in Latin and German also blessed me with a working knowledge of truly good grammar.

But none of that is an excuse to "show off" and make my writing unreadable.

How does your blog score?

Posted by JohnL at April 27, 2005 10:06 PM

I checked this a couple of days ago, I think when it showed up on Volokh Conspiracy.

Gunning Fog Index 7.70
Flesch Reading Ease 75.66
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 4.62

For me, a low score is more a side effect of some training. If there are several possible words to explain something, I will nearly always pick the simpler one.

Posted by: owlish at April 28, 2005 10:26 AM

Was it Strunk and White who recommended picking the shorter Anglo-Saxon word to the longer Latinate one whenever possible? Whoever did, it's good advice.

Posted by: JohnL at April 28, 2005 09:46 PM

Professionally, it probably is good advice, at least until an editor wants more high-falutin language in a paper or something. Writing, I would like to be able to make conscious decisions about my language, and even though I've got a ridiculous vocabulary [even though I can't spell worth a darn] it isn't really under my direct control.

Posted by: owlish at April 28, 2005 11:54 PM

Gunning Fog Index 7.98
Flesch Reading Ease 75.51
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 5.01

...obviously I need to work more on living up to my blogname...

Posted by: LDH at April 29, 2005 12:28 PM
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