"There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let's agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay."Hey, it would be on an even lower grade level if it weren't for that colon. You see my point? The punctuation says nothing about the difficulty or ease of the material in a text written for oral delivery. It's a signal to the speaker, indicating the length of pauses, the degree of flow. But I could just as well have written the previous 2 sentences as one sentence, with a colon in the middle, so quite aside from the oral/written distinction, the Flesch-Kincaid test is a pretty simplistic device to leverage an argument that a text is simplistic.
January 25, 2012
Eric Ostermeier relies on the Flesch-Kincaid test, which calculates the readability of written text, based upon the length of sentences and words. He notes the prevalence of sentences like: