Friday, October 23, 2015

Ye gawds, I can’t believe I’m defending Donald Trump.  He’s such an easy target for political humor, but an attempt at same today totally misses the point of the Flesch-Kincaid reading scale.
The scale rates ease of reading based on a number of factors including word and sentence length. I write mostly young adult books, so I’m happy when my work ranks around the fourth grade level. But, I’m equally happy if my adult novels come in about the same.
Flesch-Kincaid is not an intelligence test, as an article ifyouonlynews.comseems to imply. They ran speeches from Democratic and Republican presidential candidates through Flesch-Kincaid. Sooo hilarious that Trump’s speeches came in at grade level 4.1. The implication was that his followers are stupid.
Someone who wants to reach a broad audience is wise to keep their speech at about that level. It is a sign that they may be clear and concise. It is not a guarantee that they are making sense.
BTW, the above paragraphs came in at 6.2 on the scale. If I had more time, I’d work on getting that a little lower. Fool that I am.

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