Re: Defining Readability Levels

Subject: Re: Defining Readability Levels
From: Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:35:33 -0500

Heidi and Ronni feel "...we would be doing ourselves a great disservice by
advocating lowering the readability standards just because
we're not currently living up to them."

I couldn't agree more. I'm just wondering about the validity of the
standards in the first place. Who can really know for sure what the
combination of syllables, sentences, etc. is that constitutes a certain
reading grade level?

I can see that it is valuable to our tech writing efforts to be able to
ascertain in some fashion whether what we've written will be easily
readable by our intended audience. But I wonder where the idea that society
is on a downslide toward illiteracy because of ever lower reading levels
got started. As an ex-special educator, I'm very leary of labels. There's
so much truth to the self-fulfilling prophesy concept.

barb -dot- ostapina -at- metromail -dot- com
...speaking only for myself.

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