Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good to write in simple language

I believe it's good to write in simple language and make your writings easy to understand. Prof. Harry McLaughlin was so flabbergasted with gobbledygook that in 1969 he devised SMOG (Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook).

It is a formula that gives a readability level for written material. Readability is an attempt to match the reading level of written material to the "reading with understanding" level of the reader.

One way to find out the readability level of a text is to use the SMOG calculator developed by Prof. McLaughlin which can be found here.

There are many ways of relating readability levels to adult literacy levels. SMOG and other readability level programs are approximates and they give a measure of the readability and not the reading age of a text.

I recommend a very simple way to establish the readability level of a blog, that is by using this program. Find out what level of education is required to understand your blog. Just fill in the URL of your blog and click submit.

I submitted my blog's URL and this is what comes out:


I'm happy my blog's readability level is Junior High School which means that everyone who has gone through Junior High School can comprehend what I write here.

However, it also depends on what purpose and audience you want your blog to serve. New York Times and CNN sites have readability levels of Junior High School. On the other end, Legal Theory Blog is at genius level of readability. However, Tax Prof Blog is at High School readability level. What is your blog's readability level?

1 comment:

Onion Spirit said...

Interesting post. Glad you are happy with your grade.