Mistakes were made: understanding passive voice

Listen to someone trying to explain a high-profile error, and you’ll probably hear them say something like “Mistakes were made in carrying out the plan” or “The wrong envelope was given to the presenter.”

12 March 2017 by Dave Child

We support read aloud

Reading aloud to children is strongly correlated with better education outcomes – or, to put it another way, the kids that top the class are far more likely to have been read aloud to by their parents.

27 February 2017 by Dave Child

Inspire your way out of writer’s block

Every writer will at some point be faced with writer’s block. So, how can you tempt inspiration out of the shadows and words onto the page?

24 February 2017 by Ruth Colmer

The importance of readability of user generated content

Marketers have become increasingly aware of the importance of readability in getting customers engaged in their products and services. By ensuring text is easily readable, marketers can communicate their messages in a clear and engaging way their customers will respond to.

22 February 2017 by Ruth Colmer

The Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

Flesch readability scores are the most used and trusted of all readability scoring formula. But, what actually are the Flesch and Flesch-Kincaid readability scores? And what do the scores really mean? What is a Flesch Reading Ease score? In the late forties, Rudolph Flesch was a consultant with the Associated Press, developing methods for improving […]

26 January 2017 by Steve Linney

Readability for marketers

You have a product or service that you want to sell. But in order to make sales you need potential customers to engage with your message about that commodity. Without engagement the potential customer is not going to click through and purchase what you have to offer.

12 December 2016 by Ruth Colmer
High fives | free readability test

5 steps to improving readability

A readability score is a computer-calculated index which can tell you roughly what level of education someone will need to be able to read a piece of text easily.

24 October 2016 by Steve Linney

Readability for authors

You have an idea for a novel, a short story, an article. It has everything – complex characters, suspense, and a killer of an ending. All you need to do is transform it into a beautifully polished piece that conveys the characters and their story exactly how they appear in your head.

22 October 2016 by Ruth Colmer

For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates

When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign, he decried the lack of intelligence of elected officials in characteristically blunt terms. “How stupid are our leaders?” he said. “How stupid are they?” But with his own choice of words and his short, simple sentences, Trump’s speech could have been comprehended by a fourth-grader. Yes, a fourth-grader.

20 October 2015 by Steve Linney

Donald Trump connects to voters at a fourth-grade level

Danny Westneat @ seattletimes.com scores Donald Trumps speeches in the 2016 US election for readability. Donald Trump is said to be tapping into some primal feelings among the electorate, such as fear. But his true genius appears to be speaking to America at the level of a fourth-grader.

28 February 2015 by Steve Linney