By Joe Colquhoun
Test of Flesch
On Thursday the 7th of February Andy Maslen was generous enough to part with us some wisdom, he told us of an important test like no other. A test that will govern the very way we express ourselves creatively through writing. The rules to the test are simple and easy to follow, rule number one – you must use sentences that are short and avoid carrying on for no inexplicable reason, other than to impart a false sense of poetic intelligence. Rule number two – the numerical value of syllables in each word you decide to use carries equal weight of importance to your piece of copy, in conjunction with the former rule and a few other factors, a score out of a hundred will be derived. Sentences with a multitude of syllables carry with it a difficulty in extrapolating any kind of meaning on the reader’s behalf, therefore we should aim to keep our sentences short and our syllables minimal. In regards to the active and passive voice, Phil shared with us some valuable knowledge to which I cannot express my gratitude, never before had such a nuanced concept been simplified into such plain and understandable English. With Zombies (something like that), Sapphire looked aghast, finally, the once puzzling topic had been made clear to all of us who were slightly unsure. Alex upon witnessing the revelation winked seductively in that way we all know he does. As I’m sure you are now aware, this piece is not only a reflection on the invaluable lessons and wisdom that was blessed upon us, but alas is also an experiment to see how low and how high I can reach on the Flesch score, by writing the same piece of copy in opposing ways. Of course, I would never actually entertain the idea of conversing in such a manner, I want friends.
On Thursday Andy Maslen taught us the Flesch score. It’s very interesting and useful. The test shows us the readability of our copy. There are two main rules. 1 – use short sentences. 2 – use short words. It’s hard to understand words when they are long. Plus it’s easy to get bored. There’s something called the Active and Passive voice. Don’t worry about it. Alex likes to wink at people. I’ve written like this to test the test. I want to see how low and how high I can score. Thanks Andy!
The copy scores 64.9 in the Flesch Reading Ease test