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
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.)
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