April 22, 2005
Conglomerate's Readability
Posted by Gordon Smith

Via Steve Bainbridge, a site that purports to measure website readability. Conglomerate's scores are as follows:

Total sentences                        1,420
Total words                            12,466
Average words per Sentence       8.78
Words with 1 Syllable                7,955
Words with 2 Syllables               2,710
Words with 3 Syllables               1,226
Words with 4 or more Syllables     575
Percentage of word with
    three or more syllables         14.45%
Average Syllables per Word         1.55
Gunning Fog Index                      9.29

("a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content")

Flesch Reading Ease                  66.59

("The result is an index number that rates the text on a 100-point scale.... Authors are encouraged to aim for a score of approximately 60 to 70")

Flesch-Kincaid Grade                  6.15

("Like the Gunning-Fog index, it is a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content.")

So help me out here. Both the Gunning Fog and Flesch-Kincaid purport to estimate the number of years of schooling required to read the site, but they differ by three years? Steve's results were about four years apart.

Also, if you input the main page of your website, the program reads your sidebar, too. I assumed that would dumb us down a bit, so I re-ran the test on some of our bigger topics pages, which do not include a sidebar. Sure enough ...

"Blogs & Blawgs"

Gunning Fog Index 10.42
Flesch Reading Ease 65.48
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 7.12

"Google"

Gunning Fog Index 11.57
Flesch Reading Ease 61.20
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 8.11

"Law Schools & Lawyering"

Gunning Fog Index 11.32
Flesch Reading Ease 62.94
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 7.89

Steve was right. This is a good way to waste some time.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse has thoughts on writing and the readability indexes. She looks at the formulas, the concludes: "The real question is how sophisticated your ideas are. If you are saying simple things in convoluted prose, you're a terrible writer who doesn't deserve to be read." That sounds right. (Unfortunately, Ann's site seems to be ungradeable -- at least without the substantial effort of extracting the posts and putting them on a separate page -- because of the ads in the sidebar frames. Frames? I didn't know anyone used frames anymore. Must be a Blogger thing.)

Blogs and Blawgs | Bookmark

TrackBacks (3)

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345157d569e200d83423049f53ef

Links to weblogs that reference Conglomerate's Readability:

» Readability and Communication from Mythusmage Opines ...
"Ann Althouse has a posting up on the subject ofReadability. It is, in part, about a web site dealing ..." [more] (Tracked on April 24, 2005 @ 10:13)
» Can You Read Me Now? from Vote for Judges ...
"If you find your favorite blogs sometimes difficult to decipher, consider this: With the same amount ..." [more] (Tracked on April 25, 2005 @ 15:30)
» Can You Read Me Now? from Vote for Judges ...
"If you find your favorite blogs sometimes difficult to decipher, consider this: With the same amount ..." [more] (Tracked on April 25, 2005 @ 15:50)
Comments (1)

1. Posted by Evam on April 23, 2005 @ 15:58 | Permalink

I "graded" the writing styles of Professor Althouse and a few others back in December here. Warning: the post is not necessarily to be taken literally!

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Bloggers
Papers
Posts
Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
August 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Miscellaneous Links