Friday, 16 November 2007

Is Using Big Words Taking Advantage of the Gullible?

As you might know from reading my posts, one of the things I believe to be important for the avoidance of gullibility (note small 'g' otherwise you won't come back!) is the idea that we could all do well by sprucing up and maintaining our 'critical thinking' skills.

In particular I have urged caution about taking things for granted and trying to identify the message in the message of any communication. So, as you know anybody that parades large words and jargon in a deliberate attempt to show off their knowledge or to 'close someone out' of the conversation should be treated with the utmost skepticism.

So...when I did this blog readability test I was surprised at it's assessment of the reading level needed to make sense of what I was writing. The widget says you are at Genius level if you read Gullibility - WOW!. Just a note, I would have posted the icon but it comes with an un-announced advertising link. The other thing that comes to mind is whether that means the Gullibility readership are Genii or Geniuses...but what the heck, being a Genius you'll know anyway!

More worrying was the fact that I've probably put some readers off. On the other hand I might be targeting my audience very accurately! I guess if I were a expert blogger and I covered basic SEO for example I wouldn't be appealing to the more experienced bloggers out there.

For those of you still with me...I suppose we can bask in the glory that somebody out there judges us to be smart! for believing that to be that's another matter!


  1. I just did an experiment with it, RR. My first post was with regards to a harp player and I used regular street language of chuck n jive. Needless to say, I was graded at Junior High reading level. I then archived that post and the next test I tried graded me at a High School level.

    I know one gal who didn't get through the 9th grade and her blog tests out as being college level normally except for her latest post tested tonight at High School level.

    The biology professors blogs who teach at Universities test at High School range so it's safe to conclude that there is variance in this test thingy. It just depends on how each post is written.


  2. yes it seems that the epistemologically orientated paradigmitic assumptions regarding the empirical basis of the analysis are necessarily contested! LOL - Bloody hell I sound like my colleagues......I agree with you - it all depends on the post, and for me as long as its interesting and understandable who cares about 'posh' words :)

  3. It's about connecting and establishing relationships, fella. To hell with dollah two ninety eight woids. They mean nothing if no one understands them

    Let them have fun in those meetings of grandieur. Cranial proctecomies are good for the soul, too, just in case anyone might be wondering. Plus that, it's good for the posture- or do I mean posits?

    "Let's call the whole thing off."

    Git on wid yo baaaaad self, feller

  4. A wordsmith in action! Superb comment !