Readability of MeFi as compared to other popular sites. April 24, 2005 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Readability Results for http://www.metafilter.com:
Gunning Fog Index 10.70

Typical Fog Index Scores:
6 TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
8 Reader's Digest
8 - 10 Most popular novels
10 Time, Newsweek
11 Wall Street Journal
14 The Times, The Guardian
15 - 20 Academic papers
Over 20 Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30 The government is covering something up

We're just like Time and Newsweek!
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 9:11 AM (36 comments total)

How on earth could TV guides be equivalent to The Bible or Mark Twain both of which (depending on the bible version) use archaic versions of English?
posted by willnot at 9:17 AM on April 24, 2005


I thought the bible was a bit harder to read as well.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:22 AM on April 24, 2005


Let's shoot for 20 by this time next week, ok?
posted by Hildago at 9:23 AM on April 24, 2005


Oh, I see. It's just looking at number of words per sentence and number of syllables per word. Whether those words make any sense to the reader are beside the point.
posted by willnot at 9:25 AM on April 24, 2005


I have to think it's the animated .gifs of goatse bunnies with pancakes on their heads that are dragging us down.
posted by felix betachat at 9:27 AM on April 24, 2005


Hildago: "Let's shoot for 20 by this time next week, ok?"

Agreed. Let's. Do. Everything. In. Our. Power. To. Win.
posted by koeselitz at 9:31 AM on April 24, 2005


it's not such a compliment to be just like Time and Newsweek.
posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on April 24, 2005


Supercalafragisticexpialodocious, supercalafragisticexpialodocious supercalafragisticexpialodocious--supercalafragisticexpialodocious; supercalafragisticexpialodocious; supercalafragisticexpialodocious, & supercalafragisticexpialodocious--supercalafragisticexpialodocious supercalafragisticexpialodocious supercalafragisticexpialodocious!
posted by kenko at 9:33 AM on April 24, 2005


No! Kenko. Is. Throwing. A. Wrench. In. The. Gears! We. Will. All. Lose!
posted by koeselitz at 9:35 AM on April 24, 2005


nartuk fans gorballa unkrekto fertin beleeble fotranicol umphrey nork. galabrious rin dik phizenhorkers delb al nort.
posted by quonsar at 9:40 AM on April 24, 2005


Time and Newsweek? Ouch. I think that's the most damning indictment of Metafilter I've ever heard.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've never been so insulted as part of a collective or as an individual. Wow. Just wow. Ow. Just ow.

In this case, however, the solution (more fifty-page Ethereal Bligh and loquacious posts) may be worse than the cure.
posted by Ryvar at 9:41 AM on April 24, 2005


may be worse than the problem. Sheesh. Clearly this is all my fault.
posted by Ryvar at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2005


squirrelled
posted by mischief at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2005


Metatalk only rates a 7.98. What oh what oh what oh what oh what could this mean?
posted by item at 10:39 AM on April 24, 2005


Ryvar : " In this case, however, the solution (more fifty-page Ethereal Bligh and loquacious posts) may be worse than the cure."

They use long words. It's hard to understand them. They don't play football, either. Let's throw their books in the toilet and hide their shoes! Nerds!
posted by Bugbread at 10:48 AM on April 24, 2005


A higher score isn't necessarily better; it's less accessible. Being intelligent but completely opaque is not a plus: being able to explain complex things in simple language is much better than the reverse.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:14 AM on April 24, 2005


True...ish. A lower score isn't necessarily better; it's less precise. Speaking in short overly simplified sentences that don't communicate what you're trying to say is not a plus: being able to explain complex things accurately and sufficiently is much better than the reverse.

All I'm saying is, a high score isn't necessarily better than, nor is it worse than, a low score. It depends entirely on the execution.
posted by Bugbread at 11:18 AM on April 24, 2005


Readability Results for http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/9427
Gunning Fog Index 6.82
Flesch Reading Ease 80.21
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 3.61
posted by punishinglemur at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2005


via the Wayback Machine:

Nov 16th, 2004 (chosen at random, of course)
7.87
Nov 12th, 2003
9.49
Nov 12th, 2002
10.16
posted by felix betachat at 11:30 AM on April 24, 2005


I'd say the fact that Newsweek and Time rate the same as a page filled with short little blurbs and nothing else is more insulting to them than us.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:32 AM on April 24, 2005

Es ist überaus merkwürdig, daß auf diese transzendentale Idee der Freiheit sich der praktische Begriff derselben gründe, und jene in dieser das eigentliche Moment der Schwierigkeiten ausmache, welche die Frage über ihre Möglichkeit von jeher umgeben haben. Die Freiheit im praktischen Verstande ist die Unabhängigkeit der Willkür von der Nötigung durch Antriebe der Sinnlichkeit. Denn eine Willkür ist sinnlich, sofern sie pathologisch (durch Bewegursachen der Sinnlichkeit) affiziert ist; sie heißt tierisch (arbitrium brutum), wenn sie pathologisch necessitiert werden kann. Die menschliche Willkür ist zwar ein arbitrium sensitivum, aber nicht brutum, sondern liberum, weil Sinnlichkeit ihre Handlung nicht notwendig macht, sondern dem Menschen ein Vermögen beiwohnt, sich, unabhängig von der Nötigung durch sinnliche Antriebe, von selbst zu bestimmen.
Take that, Time and Newsweek!
posted by languagehat at 11:44 AM on April 24, 2005


I just ran this on my site, and got a Fog index of 12.93...
posted by clevershark at 11:47 AM on April 24, 2005


I just ran this on my site, and got an average sentence length of 6.66. Since the name of the site is Satanosphere, it seemed somewhat appropriate.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 12:28 PM on April 24, 2005


Do my comments! Just my comments! Whee! Do mine!
posted by orthogonality at 1:45 PM on April 24, 2005


It good this is.
posted by seanyboy at 4:02 PM on April 24, 2005


Oh dear. Just did my blog, and I have the following scores:
Gunning Fog Index 6.40
Flesch Reading Ease 80.68
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 3.51
I'm an idiot.

Also, I wonder what would happen to the scores if we removed user names.
posted by seanyboy at 4:06 PM on April 24, 2005


nartuk fans gorballa unkrekto fertin beleeble fotranicol umphrey nork. galabrious rin dik phizenhorkers delb al nort.

And a Klaatu Barata Nikto to you, too !
posted by y2karl at 6:26 PM on April 24, 2005


Also, I wonder what would happen to the scores if we removed user names.

The main factor in these types of reading scores would not be the presence, or absence, of individual nouns; in contrast, it would be the overall complexity or simplicity of the sentence structure encountered. Longer sentences, those with one or more subordinate clauses, and which include participial phrases or other such elements -- the likes of which many of us would have parsed in elementary school classes where sentence diagramming (largely, today, a lost art) is still taught -- are the kinds of things that, in aggregate, tend to push the reading-level scores to higher values. You can instantly see, of course, why this means that government sites -- known for fogginess, deriving from their need to meet the varied (and, at times, contradictory) requirements of endless laws and regulatory bodies -- have some of the highest scores on these scales (some of them correspond roughly to a notional "grade level", but others are less grounded). The Bible scores low because many of its sentences are short and simple. (Jesus wept.)
posted by dhartung at 8:26 PM on April 24, 2005


Over 40 = Immanuel Kant
posted by ontic at 8:53 PM on April 24, 2005


Displaying his usual inimitably demonstrative style, the excellent internet monologist identified on MetaFilter as dhartung has used subordinate clauses, parenthetical asides and all manner of linguistically constructed devices to not only provide a descriptive example of densely overgrown word-rainforests (as opposed to word-jungles, which are too similar to word-jumbles to be adequately unambiguous) but also to provide a well-designed example of sentences whose grammar-school diagrams would be easily mistaken for an NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket chart, as well as singlehandedly inflating this comment thread's Average words per Sentence to 7.23, Percentage of word with three or more syllables to 11.69%, Average Syllables per Word to 1.45, Gunning Fog Index to 7.57, Flesch Reading Ease to 76.41 and Flesch-Kincaid Grade to 4.40, raising the question whether "Flesch-Kincaid" is counted as two words or a singular multisyllabic word. (Wendell wept.)
posted by wendell at 8:57 PM on April 24, 2005


And I just brought the totals up to Average words per Sentence: 7.65, Percentage of word with three or more syllables: 12.94%, Average Syllables per Word: 1.48, Gunning Fog Index: 8.24, Flesch Reading Ease: 73.45, Flesch-Kincaid Grade: 4.91.

Bwahahaha.
posted by wendell at 9:02 PM on April 24, 2005


The Reality of Paradigm: Dialectic narrative, feminism and surrealism
Henry Buxton
Department of Literature, Carnegie-Mellon University
1. Stone and Batailleist `powerful communication'
"Culture is used in the service of capitalism," says Lacan; however, according to Brophy[1] , it is not so much culture that is used in the service of capitalism, but rather the collapse, and some would say the rubicon, of culture. However, the subject is contextualised into a premodern Marxism that includes consciousness as a paradox. The characteristic theme of the works of Fellini is the role of the writer as artist.

The primary theme of Wilson's[2] essay on Marxist capitalism is not, in fact, theory, but subtheory. It could be said that the subject is interpolated into a premodern Marxism that includes sexuality as a reality. Debord promotes the use of the structural paradigm of expression to attack archaic, elitist perceptions of sexual identity.

However, Werther[3] implies that we have to choose between surrealism and the semioticist paradigm of consensus. The structural paradigm of expression holds that context comes from communication.

Therefore, Derrida uses the term 'pretextual constructivist theory' to denote the role of the writer as poet. The characteristic theme of the works of Fellini is not desublimation, as Lacan would have it, but postdesublimation.

However, an abundance of theories concerning the structural paradigm of expression may be revealed. If Lyotardist narrative holds, we have to choose between the structural paradigm of expression and subtextual discourse.

2. Narratives of dialectic
"Narrativity is intrinsically dead," says Bataille; however, according to Reicher[4] , it is not so much narrativity that is intrinsically dead, but rather the meaninglessness, and therefore the defining characteristic, of narrativity. Therefore, the premise of surrealism suggests that culture is used to oppress minorities, but only if truth is equal to narrativity. The genre, and subsequent fatal flaw, of the structural paradigm of expression which is a central theme of Fellini's Amarcord is also evident in Satyricon, although in a more self-fulfilling sense.

Thus, many desituationisms concerning a mythopoetical paradox exist. Lacan suggests the use of surrealism to modify and read class.

But Derrida uses the term 'Lacanist obscurity' to denote the common ground between sexual identity and society. Any number of theories concerning the structural paradigm of expression may be discovered. Therefore, Brophy[5] states that we have to choose between premodern Marxism and the precapitalist paradigm of context. Marx promotes the use of textual objectivism to challenge hierarchy.

3. Fellini and surrealism
"Sexual identity is a legal fiction," says Baudrillard. It could be said that if the structural paradigm of expression holds, we have to choose between Foucaultist power relations and the postdialectic paradigm of reality. Lyotard suggests the use of the structural paradigm of expression to analyse society.

The primary theme of Porter's[6] model of premodern Marxism is not construction, but neoconstruction. Therefore, the main theme of the works of Eco is the difference between reality and class. Hanfkopf[7] holds that we have to choose between surrealism and modernist nihilism.

If one examines premodern Marxism, one is faced with a choice: either accept the structural paradigm of expression or conclude that culture is part of the failure of truth. Thus, Derrida uses the term 'postcultural theory' to denote a capitalist whole. The characteristic theme of la Tournier's[8] essay on the structural paradigm of expression is the bridge between sexuality and society.

However, Marx uses the term 'premodern Marxism' to denote the dialectic, and thus the paradigm, of subtextual truth. The subject is contextualised into a capitalist discourse that includes reality as a reality.

It could be said that Sartre promotes the use of premodern Marxism to deconstruct capitalism. Lyotard uses the term 'surrealism' to denote the difference between class and art.

Thus, an abundance of narratives concerning the role of the artist as participant exist. In Death: The High Cost of Living, Gaiman examines the structural paradigm of expression; in Death: The Time of Your Life he deconstructs surrealism.

In a sense, any number of deappropriations concerning premodern Marxism may be found. Debord suggests the use of Sontagist camp to modify and read class.

4. Expressions of failure
"Consciousness is fundamentally responsible for sexism," says Foucault. But if surrealism holds, we have to choose between premodern Marxism and premodernist objectivism. The primary theme of the works of Gaiman is the bridge between sexual identity and society.

In a sense, Lacan's analysis of textual semioticism suggests that sexual identity, surprisingly, has significance. A number of theories concerning not deappropriation, as surrealism suggests, but subdeappropriation exist.

But Finnis[9] implies that we have to choose between premodern Marxism and Lyotardist narrative. If the structural paradigm of expression holds, the works of Gaiman are an example of mythopoetical Marxism. Thus, Derrida promotes the use of premodern Marxism to challenge class divisions. Bataille uses the term 'surrealism' to denote the stasis, and eventually the futility, of postcultural society.

5. Gaiman and the structural paradigm of expression
In the works of Gaiman, a predominant concept is the concept of conceptualist culture. But the subject is interpolated into a subpatriarchial situationism that includes language as a paradox. Several narratives concerning surrealism may be discovered.

The main theme of Finnis's[10] essay on pretextual discourse is the difference between society and class. Therefore, the subject is contextualised into a premodern Marxism that includes truth as a reality. In Death: The High Cost of Living, Gaiman examines dialectic socialism; in Death: The Time of Your Life, however, he denies the structural paradigm of expression.

If one examines Marxist socialism, one is faced with a choice: either reject premodern Marxism or conclude that academe is capable of truth. But the primary theme of the works of Gaiman is not, in fact, deconstruction, but neodeconstruction. The subject is interpolated into a surrealism that includes consciousness as a whole.

However, Long[11] holds that we have to choose between capitalist deappropriation and the subconceptualist paradigm of discourse. Baudrillard suggests the use of premodern Marxism to analyse sexual identity.

Thus, Derrida uses the term 'textual precultural theory' to denote the common ground between society and sexual identity. If the structural paradigm of expression holds, we have to choose between semiotic Marxism and neodialectic theory.

In a sense, Marx uses the term 'premodern Marxism' to denote the role of the observer as artist. The subject is contextualised into a patriarchialist feminism that includes truth as a paradox.

However, Long[12] states that the works of Gaiman are modernistic. Bataille promotes the use of premodern Marxism to deconstruct outmoded perceptions of society.

6. Expressions of meaninglessness
"Art is impossible," says Sartre; however, according to Hubbard[13] , it is not so much art that is impossible, but rather the collapse of art. It could be said that many narratives concerning a dialectic totality exist. Lyotard uses the term 'surrealism' to denote the role of the reader as observer.

"Class is intrinsically elitist," says Marx. Therefore, in Death: The High Cost of Living, Gaiman examines premodern Marxism; in Black Orchid, although, he reiterates the neoconstructivist paradigm of discourse. The subject is interpolated into a structural paradigm of expression that includes narrativity as a paradox.

But the main theme of Dietrich's[14] critique of surrealism is not theory as such, but subtheory. Neostructural semanticist theory implies that language is responsible for hierarchy, but only if the premise of premodern Marxism is invalid; otherwise, government is capable of intention.

Therefore, Baudrillard uses the term 'the structural paradigm of expression' to denote the rubicon, and subsequent collapse, of predeconstructive consciousness. The subject is contextualised into a premodern Marxism that includes art as a totality.

It could be said that if surrealism holds, we have to choose between the structural paradigm of expression and textual deconstruction. An abundance of narratives concerning surrealism may be revealed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Brophy, W. ed. (1979) Premodern Marxism in the works of Fellini. O'Reilly & Associates2. Wilson, T. G. O. (1988) Forgetting Lyotard: Feminism, surrealism and the postcultural paradigm of consensus. Panic Button Books
3. Werther, S. P. ed. (1994) Surrealism and premodern Marxism. University of Massachusetts Press
4. Reicher, E. D. G. (1978) Reassessing Social realism: Premodern Marxism and surrealism. O'Reilly & Associates
5. Brophy, Q. ed. (1997) Surrealism and premodern Marxism. University of California Press
6. Porter, Z. O. W. (1989) The Paradigm of Discourse: Surrealism in the works of Eco. O'Reilly & Associates
7. Hanfkopf, V. ed. (1976) Premodern Marxism in the works of Gaiman. Loompanics
8. la Tournier, J. W. (1991) Reading Lyotard: Premodern Marxism and surrealism. Yale University Press
9. Finnis, T. ed. (1978) Surrealism and premodern Marxism. Schlangekraft
10. Finnis, R. U. E. (1995) The Rubicon of Art: Premodern Marxism and surrealism. Loompanics
11. Long, M. ed. (1989) Surrealism and premodern Marxism. O'Reilly & Associates
12. Long, F. G. (1991) Deconstructing Social realism: Premodern Marxism and surrealism. University of Michigan Press
13. Hubbard, N. ed. (1975) Surrealism, pretextual nihilism and feminism. Cambridge University Press
14. Dietrich, E. C. (1999) Dialectic Discourses: Premodern Marxism in the works of Madonna. And/Or Press

posted by exlotuseater at 9:41 PM on April 24, 2005


exlotuseater, you have Gunning-Fogged us this thread to an 11.30.

Speaking of hyphenates, I wonder what the Bulwer-Lytton Contest site would Gunner-Fog up to...
home page: 12.26
grand prize winners (lyttony.htm): 17.00 and a Flesch-Kincaid of exactly 12.00.

hehehehehehehehehe.
posted by wendell at 10:02 PM on April 24, 2005


Over 40 = Immanuel Kant

Heh. That's who I was quoting above.

Sorry for dragging our score down with this childish comment.
posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM on April 25, 2005


Is anyone else having a problem using this on their blog? I'm getting:

Total sentences 3
Total words 4
Average words per Sentence 1.33

etc.

I guess it no likee so much de CSS, eh?
posted by taz at 7:14 AM on April 25, 2005


taz : " I guess it no likee so much de CSS, eh?"

Maybe it's part of the MPAA?
posted by Bugbread at 1:02 AM on April 26, 2005


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