I have been one of the “smart kids” all of my life. It isn’t something I talk about much. Those who know me well just know this and I imagine those who read here frequently probably suspected it at times. I don’t spend much time thinking about it, but recent news gave me a chance to test my communication skills and accessibility for readers for my blog.
Give some credit to Sarah Palin and her emails. I have now discovered that there is an online tool that assesses the reading level of a given text. Hat tip goes to Vox Day for linking up the text readablility engine. I put a few of my blog posts through it and discovered that I tend to write at about a 10-12 grade level. Some of the posts were as low as 8 and some were up closer to 14. The score indicates “the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to easily understand the text on the first reading.” This might explain why I don’t reach a particularly large audience. It also explains why I frequently have issues in online discussions I suppose. I have been accused of talking over people’s heads before. I guess my writing style is reflective of this as well.
Let the reader be warned that my writing might require more than one pass to digest. I will probably run some of my posts through this thing in the future. It will depend on what I am intending the post to be as far as readability. For this post I was able to adjust it to a 6.84 after an initial score of 9.68 on the Flesch Kincaid Grade level scale by taking some of their recommendations. I doubt I will do this for many of my posts, but it is something I will notice in the future.