Google’s T&Cs harder to read than Beowulf

Beowulf.firstpageFollowing on from past posts about readability – Translating through the fog; and The Writer’s Diet test; as well as a great guest post on Lessons in powerful writing (from a lawyer…) – last week I came across some new text analysis software in an article about a browser plug-in called Literatin, which provides a Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) score.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have calculated that the updated version of Google’s latest terms and conditions is harder to read than Beowulf or War and Peace. 😉

Their plug-in gave Google’s revised terms a SMOG score of 15.48 [43% of the adult English population would not be able to read the terms], while the epic Old English poem Beowulf has a SMOG score of 13.9. According to the researchers, Google’s terms rate at about the same level as Homer’s Iliad or Les Misérables in terms of readability.

To read the whole interview with the Nottingham researchers, click here.

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Credit: Thanks to Tim Grant for the heads-up.

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