Periodically I’ll pause while writing and hit “command a” then “command c” and head over to wordcounter.net. While I don’t put strict parameters on how many words I’m going to write each day, I usually find that 350-500 is the minimum to make a point not sound like a status update. I’ve used the website a dozen times or so in the last few months and never noticed a group of features on the right side of the page. There with a sentence counts, reading time, and speaking time sits “Reading level”. This little gem tells you what grade level the passage you have entered is. Nothing like seeing your writing is on a 7-8th grade level to build your writing confidence.
Undaunted, I picked a couple random news sites and copied and pasted them into the the counter. Collegiate level…Thanks Obama!!!
Then I went and copied some of Ernest Hemmingway’s, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, one of my all time favorite short stories….collegiate.
Maybe I use too many curse words. Maybe my sentences are too short. Maybe I make too many grammatical mistakes. I bookmark a thesaurus. You’re going down wordcounter.net. You are going down.
Really though, the point is to get it out. To make it easy to read. Too much of our lives are complicated. Far be it for me to use a bunch of them college words just to beat a machine. Maybe I can slip in the word “magnanimous” or “repugnant” a few times and that’ll get it done.
Superfluous big words will surely make the machine back down. I mean, how can a computer really tell me what grade level I am on. I vow to not use the word “fart” anymore. Well except that time. Fart is a great word and I’ll miss it.
Maybe the machine can tell what kind of level I am on. I’d accept that. I’d say, 8th grade me had it going on. I had a hawaiian shirt and my grandfathers bitchin fedora that I wore around all the time. I knew all the words to Catch My Fall and Eye’s Without a Face by Billy Idol by heart. Yes I just tried to put the lyrics to both of those songs in wordcounter. It gave me an N/A.
When I pasted the first paragraph of this post into wordcounter, it told me I was on a collegiate level. At the end. 9-10th grade. Progress or digression?
At least now I have a challenge. To beat the unbeatable machine and use big boy writing. I love a challenge…almost as much as the word fart.