Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Standards Are Awesome.

Hey! Guess what’s really NOT important?! Readability Level Statistics!

It’s called the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Level, and it’s so awesome I want to commit violence on myself! You see, F—K system does this voo-doo on paragraphs of words and then applies a statistically wow-erific model to fit that set of words neatly into a categorization which (big shocker) correlates to grade school reading aptitude! As in: a score of 5 = 5th grade reading level. 4 = 4th, 3 = 3rd, and 12th = you get the picture.

Unless you, yourself, are a 1. In which case, you’re totally confused by now and wish that your mother/brother wasn’t your sister/grandmother. Or you’re just drooling and searching for horse pr0n.

Back to the F—K method.

Apparently, in the same voice, and while speaking ostensibly on the same level (I only have one level of intelligence, presumably), I can write at a 6th grade level AND an 11.5th grade level! Simultaneously! That makes ALL the sense in the world! I checked it myself using Microsoft Word! It’s so easy to judge nowadays!

I’m sooooo glad we have these rating systems in place to tell me that in order to bring a paragraph from a 6th grade level to a 12th grade level, all I need to do is add run-on sentences and long, multi-syllabic words! Even if I fuck the grammar all up, jumble all the paragraphs into one long-winded douche-wheez, and use big, fake words in all sorts of impracticalishnistical ways! Smartness!

Flesch-Kincaid grade level 1.6 (so, you don’t even need to know English really):

The dog ran very fast. But not fast for dad. I like it when the dog gets beat. My dad beats dogs with his hook hand. His hook is made of metal and rubber. Like my mom’s left leg.

They were in a combine fire together. Mom says they were making me. Two bums came by and found them on top of the other. The bums did their thing. Then burned the combine. Mom’s leg got ate by coyotes after she passed out from the pain.

I don’t like it when dad opens my coke with his hook. It sounds so bad. It makes me cry. Like he just used that hook to open my brain instead.

Shut up stupid dog or I will hit you. With my third leg.

Flesch-Kincaid grade level 7.4 (what almost SIX more years of education can guarantee! Apparently!)

The dog ran very fast, but not fast; for dad. Precociousness. I like it when the dog gets beat because my dad beats dogs with his hooktasticalfullness hand. His hook is made of posthumously metal and rubberfishnets, just like my mom’s left; leggoristicality-o. They were in a combine fire together where mom says they were making me; fistedpainfully when two bums came by and found them on fiddlesticks top of the other. The bums did their thingsteriousnicity; then burned the combine forcedinstitutionalization. Mom’s leg got aten by coyote politicians after she passed out from the painstaticness. I don’t like it when dad opens my coke embroidering with his hook because it sounds so bad that it makes me cry; like he just used that hook to open my brain instead. Shut up stupid dogmaticalstatistician or I will hit you with my third leg bombastic.

Standards are awesome. We need more.


Bella_by_Barlight said...

I can hardly stop laughing.

Okay, I have no idea what brought on this rant, but it's fucking hysterical. The only thing I must question is this last part about level 7.4... I could be wrong, but I think "thingsteriousnicity" is above a grade 7.4 level vocabulary.

Debbie said...

Thatw as the best thing I have read all week. Seriously, all WEEK!

Truecraig said...

Bella, what brought this about was my frustration at reading a piece on how most mainstream novelists suck because they "write to the retarded" by dumbing down their texts to the 4th grade level. And that the writer of the critical piece was brilliant, because she and her gaggle of Iowa School Of Creative Writing friends wrote at a 12th grade level. Shocker there.

But what she had to say, even in her article, was so simple that a fourth grader was capable of grasping the concept, so why write above that person's head simply because you CAN? It pissed me off because I believe you should only use complex language when it is absolutely necessary (for the sake of space, or because there just isn't a simpler method to get the point across).

Otherwise, the writing is intentionally elitist. As if only the higher-educated should be blessed with dialog or discussion. What utter shit. Why would someone brag about that anyway?

So I ranted. Made me feel better. Pish-posh.