The Reading Level of Sportswriters
Since sportswriters and thinkers constantly use numbers to judge the value of the ballplayers they love, it’s only fair that the tables are occasionally turned. Hence, the Harvard Sports Analysis blog has turned to writing’s WAR, in this case the Flesh-Kincaid Reading Level, a one number catch all to describe the level a writer’s working at.
Just like WAR, this number has a variety of inherent problems, namely that the amount of words and syllables per sentence has any real bearing on the quality of the writing and the ideas that are being transmitted. Still, it’s good fun and not too surprising to learn that, while writers like Bill Simmons and Will Leitch can be understood by eighth graders, Rick Reilly is writing for the elementary school set.
Go forth and check it out, but just remember not to put too much stock in the results. And I say that while refusing to find out if my writing equates to that of a fourth grader.