Clearing the Fog
There are a few services out there on the web that analyse blogs, not least Mapstats that I had mentioned last month. While being frustrated with Kinja—some service which doesn’t seem to be able to crawl this site or add others efﬁciently—I noted a link to a readability analysis tool from Juicy Studio.
For those wondering how good their writing is, this site is an excellent resource.
I discovered the following about this blog, copied and pasted from Juicy Studio’s site:
Total sentences: 1,387
Total words: 12,946
Average words per sentence: 9·33
Words with one syllable: 8,736
Words with two syllables: 2,495
Words with three syllables: 1,144
Words with four or more syllables: 571
Percentage of word with three or more syllables: 13·25%
Average syllables per word: 1·50
Gunning Fog Index: 9·03
Flesch Reading Ease: 70·31
Flesch-Kincaid Grade: 5·77
The last three ﬁgures are the party trick for this tool. Gunning Fog details how many years of education one might need before reading this blog, with 17 being the highest score (a postgrad). A score of 9·03 puts this blog around the same level as a popular novel.
The Flesch Reading Ease score is based on an index of 0 to 100, and the higher the score, the easier this blog is to read. I would say 70·31 is not too bad here, considering there are specialist topics from time to time.
Finally, the Flesch–Kincaid Grade also suggests how many years of education one requires in order to read this blog—which puts this at a ﬁfth- or sixth-grade level.
For those who have some writing online, Juicy Studio’s tool could be very useful. For me, I am glad that my rough target—that this blog has some smart things to say, but retains its accessibility—seems to be conﬁrmed by the ﬁgures. Posted by Jack Yan, 13:03
Jack, what a fun post -- and it says it all! Thanks. You'd enjoy one of my favorite all time books on this topic. "How to Take the Fog out of Writing" by Robert Gunning. It's ancient ... 1964... and was given to me in 1988 by Hal Lawrence a best selling author who's no longer with us. Hal wrote much like you do, and your blog today brought back his memory!
# posted by ellenweber: 8/01/2006 06:56:00 PM
Thank you for the reference, Ellen—and I am honoured to be compared with your friend! I must check out his writing style!
Hmmmm....this seems pretty interesting, I will have to check that out. You always refer some of the best resources out there. Some of the sources I use are because of you. No, really!
Thanks, Blackops! I thought this was a fun one, too, and I hadn’t seen it on another blog before. Usually I am the ﬁrst guy to see a joke on email, for instance, so if it is new to me, I ﬁgure others might ﬁnd it new, too.Post a Comment
Ellen, meanwhile, I did check on Hal’s writing. I could only ﬁnd one excerpt from a site discussing his experience in World War II and there were some similarities in our style. However, I am nowhere near Hal in life experience—it was pretty amazing to read of his work.
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