Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The nature of genius (or, sorry about all this)

I'm a geek. You know that, right? That whole genius thing in the last post - it didn't give me its methodology, and so I could not accept it at face value, especially when other blogs I read and enjoy got much lower scores. In fact, Porkchop was the only one to get the Genius tag.

I mean, I could just say that this is the smartest blog ever - but you already know that in your heart, though I don't have the data to back it up, and we don't abide truthiness here.

So, I went to readability.info and got a bunch of different readability grades, and explanations thereof. It was fascinating (see note on geekdom above). On the school-grade scales, we got:

  • Kincaid, 5.8
  • ARI, 6.0
  • Coleman-Liau, 9.0
  • Fog, 8.9
  • Lix, <5*
  • SMOG, 8.7

*Bite me, Lix.

That's a pretty wide range right there, which makes me glad I don't write standardized tests. I furthermore learned that we had started 2 of the 20 sentences on the front page with subordinating conjunctions, which is surprising, considering our irascible insubordinant spirit. (Did I convince you that I know what a "subordinating conjunction" is? Good.)

This Web site gave me a Flesch-Kincaid score, and apparently Flesch thinks much more highly of our writing than his colleague - together, they gave us a 10. So eat that, 5.8th-graders.

But I think my favorite index is SMOG. Sure, it gave us a middle-of-the-road score, but it has a deliciously one-factored formula: sqrt (((words<=3 syllables)/sentences)*30) + 3. So if I told you to "fornicate vigorously fortnightly with a truculent velvety wolverine," SMOG says you'd need to be midway through Grade 20 to understand it.

Then, you'd probably giggle.

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