Pleasures of the Flesch

In what passes for my professional life, I write and edit math and science lessons for middle-school students. As a result, I have recently become acquainted with an obscure feature of Microsoft Word: “Readability Statistics.” This is enabled by accessing the “Spelling & Grammar” tab (under the Tools –> Options) and checking “Show readability statistics.” Once you’ve done this, every time you run a spelling and grammar check, you’ll be presented with a dialog box like this:

Those stats pertain to my previous entry, which dealt with the inane yammering of James Dobson and Glenn Beck. The first bunch of numbers are self-explanatory and contribute to the final two metrics, the results of the Flesch-Kincaid Readability tests performed on the entry.
As the Wikipedia entry explains, a Reading Ease of 90-100 means that anyone with eyes and a pulse can supposedly understand what the material says, 60-70 means a 13- to 15-year old can grok it, and 30 and under means that a college degree might be required for understanding. Note that my entry’s score proves that material may be comprehensible even when its subjects are not.
Just for fun, I ran my next-oldest entry through the program:

Consistency! And since all things revolve around PZ Myers, I analyzed his own entry about the recent Dobson/Beck tardcast:

Profane neologisms and too-long sentences, both if which I am fond, evidently raise a document’s presumed reading level–probably more the latter than the former, as suggested by this one-sentence “story”:
Once upon a time, a huge ugly monster pooped in his hands and then ate it, yum!

Apparently the average fifth-grader is equipped to at least read what is on most creationist sites even if the verbiage there consists entirely of poop and doo-doo-ka ka.

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