At work we are trying to find out just how easy it is to read some surveys. As part of this, we looked up the SMOG index (Simple measure of Gobbleygook) . This is defined by Harry McLaughlan as
SMOG is easy to calculate using an approximate formula — count the words of 3 or more syllables in 3 samples of 10 sentences each, estimate the count’s square root, and add 3.
Now, from that site you can get a link to a calculator that will give you Flesch index, grade averages, and SMOG index. So, naturally, I checked the last four posts…. and the results to not surprise me. I tend to have to work to get clear english, particularly if you use a grade six level (which is what most people recommend for all the measures but SMOG — SMOG generally rates two grades up).
(US) Grade Levels Coleman-Lui Flesh-Kincaid SMOG Do not fear 6.8 7.8 10.0 Vaterland 7.4 8.6 9.8 Sod the state 9.3 8.9 10.9 Cowards 7.9 8.2 10.2