May 26, 2011

W17L Self-Analysis: Readability

     There's a fun secret on Microsoft Word.  You can set it up so that after you use the spell check, it gives you the number of words, sentences, paragraphs, and characters you used; averages like words per sentence; and a couple of "readability scores".  One of them, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score, translates the averages mentioned before into a number that tells you what grade in school should be able to read your document.  For example, if the FKGL score was 8.0, the average 8th grader would be expected to be able to understand it.  So if you get a 6, you laugh at yourself for dumbing down your writing, and if you get a 10, you laugh at yourself for trying to be Ernest Hemingway.
     So I took my 17 posts to Microsoft Word and found the readability of each.  And because nothing is more exciting than analysis of analysis, I'll share with you the things I found.

Hardest Post to Read:  A Relegation Idea I Didn't Come Up With (score of 10.6)

     I found this kind of shocking, because the next highest score was a 9.0 for the LeBron post.  I'm guessing the issues were when I tried to make the hope sentence extra-beautiful, and when I turned NFL/UFL-style into one word.

Easiest Post to Read:  In Honor Of Cinco De Mayo, Cinco Great NFL Names (score of 0.0)

     In my defense, it's not that hard to comprehend a list of 5 names.  If you don't count the names post or the haikus, which scored around one, then the easiest post to read was Forget About The Closer, Find Someone That's Open-er, with a score of 6.3.  Which makes sense while I re-read it, because I used a lot of short sentences in that one.

Average Post:  Score of 6.3

     I care about 7th graders.  I don't want to confuse them.  Also, this counts the names and haikus.  Without them, my average score is a pretty respectable 7.6.  The words per sentence category kills me, because I always use long sentences.  Just for the sake of perspective, this recent Rick Reilly article scored a 5.7, mostly because he didn't drag out sentences like me.  This random SI.com post scored a 7.2.  I feel a little disappointed now.

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