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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Readability

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One of the interesting things MS Word does, after checking spellings and grammar, if you've set up right option, is to display readability statistics (See here how to set up the option). There are six of them which tell you how easy or difficult it is read a piece of text. Using average number of words in a sentence and average number of syllables in a word, two statistics numerically measure readability. Flesch Reading Ease Score (FRES) is a score between 0 and 100 (most to least difficult) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) is average class/grade of an American student who can comfortably read the given text. FRES is expected to be around 60 and FKGL around 8 for most internet audiences. I however, find myself writing on more difficult side on both score due to my tendency to write long sentences, though I don't think I write long words on average.

My post on Horror movies scored 60.0 and 10.3 respectively, while Who can take life? scored 59.4 and 10.0. Simpler post on Power of inanities scored 69.6 and 6.3 while Of Men and Women, and Preference thereof scored 47.9 and 12.2. I get worse (better?) in Meek shall inherit the earth with 33.6 and 14.1. Jawaharlal Nehru's Tryst with Destiny, mentioned in At the stroke of midnight, even while being profound, was linguistically easy with mere 60.3 and 10.1 scores.

My academic writings score even worse and typical FRES score is 20-30 and typical FKGL is always above 12. It's all theoretical nevertheless for I've not confirmed whether one needs to be in 10th class to understand Tryst with Destiny, but it's still useful to budding writers. Plus it's fun as you see by me going overboard! Try it.
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