Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dumbing down your speeches can touch more people, but how can you grade your words? (Cool stuff on the web)



Love this... Someone introduced me to the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale

It's a way to size up the words you're using, and how hard they are to follow.
Or...
It's an algorithm which measures the sophistication of the language you are employing.


That first sentence
It's a way to size up the words you're using, and how hard they are to follow.



Scores a readability on the Flesch-Kincaid Scale of 95
Which is a 4th Grade US School reading level (understandable to 9-10 Year Olds)

And the other sentence...
"It's an algorithm to measure the sophistication of the language you are employing."

Scores a lower readability on the Flesch-Kincaid Scale of 57
Which is an 11th Grade US School reading level (understandable to 16-17 Year Olds)



(And I also like that the site measuring it shows this with the colour yellow instead of green...!)


Turns out, President Obama's last State Of The Union speech was pitched at the level of a 10th Grader (about a 14 Year Old)...

...and according to Vocativ that was his highest level of speech during his Presidency.

They created this graphic to show how that compares with other Presidents



The full details and interactive graphics for every year's speech are at this link to Vocativ's article here.


Stand-ups get this.

It's much easier to make an audience laugh at something if you use the shortest way to get the idea across...

- which often means the bluntest and plainest words.
If you have to work harder to register the words, they risk getting in the way of the joke. (One showrunner calls it "wordf**king" the script.)

Anyway, you can measure the readability of any website or block of text at read-able.com



Link here.


Gawd, that was a long post. Least my website's reading level is 5th Grade - understandable by 10-11 Year Olds.




Here's a link to all the other cool stuff I've found on the web

Previous post...
Comedy writing how to... Another list of things that are Sacred and Profane


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