I found this wonderful tool recently and just had to share it with you. There are several tests to evaluate how readable texts are, but the results of this one are such fun!
Helen Sword, who offers the free online tool, is a scholar, award-winning teacher, and poet who has published books and articles on modernist literature, higher education pedagogy, digital poetics, and academic writing. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and now teaches in the Centre for Academic Development at the University of Auckland.
To try it out, I entered a sample of text that was used by the press a few months ago as an example of impenetrable legalese (see this post for more details). You can see the results in the screenshot below.
By the way, you can click on the two screenshots in this post to enlarge and make them easier to read.
Then I tried out a part of Lord Denning’s famous Miller v Jackson judgment (see this guest post for an entertaining and detailed analysis of Denning’s writing style).
The WritersDiet test can be found here. In addition to the summary information shown above, the tool also gives more advice if you click on the “See full diagnosis” button. Enjoy yourselves!
You might also be interested in this post about a Gunning Fog tool and readability in general, and this post about “Business-ese”.
Credit: Hat tip to Clare for bringing the tool to my attention.