Re: Measuring readability

Subject: Re: Measuring readability
From: Wayne Douglass <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:56:11 -0700

At 03:53 PM 4/6/98 +0100, Damien Braniff wrote:
> The speakers said it
>could not be used to indicate good writing but could give a good indication
>of bad writing! Basically a "good "score" didn't mean the text was well
>written but a "bad score" probably indicated that the text would not be
>easy reading.
At last! The only sensible position I have seen thus far in this thread.

Like good writing, readibility is hard to measure. Faced with this
difficulty, the natural inclination is to take elements that *can* be
measured (number of words in sentences, number of sentences in paragraphs,
and God knows what else) and elevate them to an "index" (Flesch, FOG
factors, etc.) In time, Gresham's Law mandates that these "indexes" become
"standards" that must be adhered to despite their general irrelvance to the
original question.

Wayne Douglass phone: 408-542-2139
Verity, Inc. FAX: 408-542-2040
894 Ross Road mailto:wayned -at- verity -dot- com
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

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