The importance of communicating ideas with readable words has become more critical than ever in a TikTok world. Have you ever wondered what grade your writing’s reading level is?
Dan Balow told me of a fun website, www.readabilityformulas.com, where you can post up to 3,000 words and find out its reading-level grade.
I first tried the Bible using Daniel 7:1-7 in different translations.
King James Version (KJV) – grade 11
New International Version (NIV) – grade 6
The Message Bible (paraphrase) – grade 4
I put in a number of my own blog posts and found a range from 7th to 9th grade.
Ran a proposal’s sample chapter from a brilliant mind pitching a book through the process. The grade level was 16. Ouch!
The lesson is somewhat self-evident. Your style of writing may not communicate well with your audience if your verbiage isn’t a match for your reader.
No, I’m not advocating “dumbing down” your writing. What I am suggesting is that if you are writing a dissertation, you can use one style; but if you are writing a group Bible study, use another.
For fun, I graded the following book contract clause:
Author warrants and represents that (a) Author is the owner of the rights granted hereunder and has full power and authority to make the grants herein contained; (b) to Author’s knowledge, there are no claims or litigations pending or threatened adversely affecting Author’s rights in the Work for the purposes of this Agreement; (c) there are no rights, licenses or commitments outstanding in favor of anyone which would or might impair, interfere with or infringe upon the exclusive rights herein granted; and (d) the Work in no way violates any existing copyright, either in whole or in part, and contains no matter which is libelous or otherwise unlawful. This paragraph shall survive termination of this Agreement.
And such is the job of an agent. To unravel such language.