Apparently those newspaper editors who said my columns were too difficult for their See-Spot-Run readerships weren’t entirely off-base. I ran today’s column through the Readability Index – courtesy of Bane – which rendered the following results:
Gunning Fog Index 14.07
Flesch Reading Ease 46.90
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 9.57
Which apparently means that my column falls somewhere between The Times and The Guardian, both UK papers rated at a Fog Index of 14, and academic papers (15-20). Time Magazine, on the other hand, was rated at 10.
This blog, however, is a rather easier slog, almost translucent in its clarity:
Gunning Fog Index 10.18
Flesch Reading Ease 67.49
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 6.87
Of course, it’s pretty clear that this boils down to little more than how many syllables are in the words one uses. I’ve been a little skeptical of this concept ever since being accused – in print – of showing off by using big words such as “nadir”. That’s right, all five letters and two syllables of it.