Readability and cultural blinkers

I eagerly ran the blog readability test on this blog, and got this result:

cash advance

This is the same as, which is fine, but you know something? We don’t have junior high schools where I live, or in most of the world. So the test throws up another question:

How about a ‘cultural blindness’ test?

Your score would be reduced for the following:

  • Mentions of ‘baseball card functionality’ in talent management systems (clue: who else plays baseball?) 
  • Use of national slang/argot/military/sporting metaphor (please stop going the whole 8.2 metres – see here for more)
  • References to adverts in your country (I recently heard a podcast that made reference to adverts for a slew of Canadian adverts. Guess what? It didn’t help me.)
  • Patronizing references to foreign countries and how quaint / unpleasant, hot / cold  they are (something of a British speciality)
  • Good cheer wishes for local holidays (yes, that includes Halloween)

The results could be rendered on this entirely comprehensible international scale:

  1. Pukka
  2. Comme ci comme ça
  3. ‘Ave a word with yourself

People, the internet is a big place. Wherever you are writing, most of your potential audience will not understand it unless you keep the cultural blinkers off.

Have a pukka weekend.


4 responses to “Readability and cultural blinkers

  1. I ran bandwagoning through the test and got ‘genius’. Clearly the thing is flawed – you blog is much more readable than mine.

  2. Hi Jeremy

    I’m not sure the test is flawed. You may be writing like a genius, but asking your audience to read like one is risky. They typically have little patience and they may not have English as their first language.

    I ran my second posting from this blog ( through the readability test. It was rated as ‘undergraduate level’.

    The conclusion: either I’m dumbing down (from undergraduate to junior high) or I’m learning to write more accessibly. I opt for the latter.



  3. Mine came as Elementary school is it good or bad? I guess learning should be easy and unless we are doing a thesis for P.hd it can be lucid and flowing? Don’t know really. No wreading thse very crisp blogs has become a nice distraction for me. Great one!

  4. Pingback: week 12 | Multi-Media Journalism

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