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Using the ten-dollar words - The Ex-Communicator

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December 22nd, 2010


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09:03 am - Using the ten-dollar words
Go to Google advanced search, select 'reading level' and pick 'annotate results'. Then enter your blog URL into 'search within site'. Hey presto, Google will evalute the level of your prose.

This is mine for this blog: 50% basic, 42% intermediate, 7% advanced.

Here is an article from Technology Review on some of the implications of this tool for searching. However, I've got to say I think that technical people are mistaken when they assume that complexity of language is equivalent to complexity of thought. You could argue that complexity of prose is a mere tool.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:gfk88
Date:December 22nd, 2010 09:54 am (UTC)
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It depends on the purpose of the piece and the intended audience, of course, but quite often complex prose indicates precisely the opposite of complex thought. If you're on top of your subject, you can boil it down to the essentials and paraphrase with gay abandon. If you're feeling a bit unsure, it's much safer just to memorise and regurgitate.

And on the radio, of course, complex prose is a tool for just not answering the question which has been asked.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 22nd, 2010 10:06 am (UTC)
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Yes, since I wrote that I read a comment by Einstein 'If you understand a subject you can explain it to anyone, if you can only explain it to your colleagues then you don't really understand it'.
[User Picture]
From:goddess09807
Date:December 22nd, 2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
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I feel pretty silly. I tried to do it following your directions but it didn't pull anything up. It said 0% fr all of them. Am I doing something wrong?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 22nd, 2010 12:15 pm (UTC)
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That's strange. I am just trying some different livejournals and some work and some don't. It must be something to do with the formatting of the text content in different journal styles. I know this facility can't read PDFs so there are probably other text formats that fox it.
[User Picture]
From:goddess09807
Date:December 22nd, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
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Darn. I really wanted to find out.
From:huskyscotsman
Date:December 22nd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
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It's your privacy settings—it won't work if you have "Minimize my journal's inclusion in search engine results" checked. I had the same problem. I unchecked it this morning, but I don't know how long it'll take for the Google crawler to pick up my LJ.

Here's the settings page: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/?cat=privacy
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 22nd, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
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clever
[User Picture]
From:gair
Date:December 22nd, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
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Ha, my work blog is 100% intermediate! I am consistent!
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:December 22nd, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
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Aye, I suppose work writing has to be of a type, you can't veer off into the vernacular.

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