Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Firemind And Readability

When I was growing up I sometimes had problems communicating with others my age. I read adult books and encyclopedias and absorbed interesting words and phrases. Speaking and writing 'inappropriately' for a situation can make things hard for kids.

University helped a lot in that I learned to write in various ways. I found however that my style was still academic and sometimes problematic.

I would sometimes get frustrated with my writing and found that I over edited myself. I ended up writing less until I found a book by Joel Saltzman called If You Can Talk You Can Write. Saltzman promotes the idea of 'talking on paper' - ie: writing in a casual style that mimics speech. After reading the book I wrote more and I was more aware of how I wrote. The book remains my favourite antidote to writer's block.

When I found this Readability Test I just had to try it. Here are my results:

Readability Results for
Readability Results Summary Value
Total sentences 114
Total words 859
Average words per Sentence 7.54
Words with 1 Syllable 616
Words with 2 Syllables 155
Words with 3 Syllables 72
Words with 4 or more Syllables 16
Percentage of word with three
or more syllables 10.24%
Average Syllables per Word 1.40
Gunning Fog Index 7.11
Flesch Reading Ease 80.41
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 3.92

The Gunning Fog index is significant for me. Firemind scores somewhere between TV Guide (6) and Reader's Digest (8). I finally achieved a level of writing that allows me to express my ideas and yet is readable. The range also tells me I can experiment with out becoming too extreme.

Thanks to Experimental Film.


Keith said...

A very interesting test. I might blog my results of the test also. TY firemind and E. Film.

Leon said...

Yeah, post your results. It is an interesting meme which is actually beneficial.