Readability - Readabbility Formulas

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Readability - Readabbility Formulas

Post  Vincent Law on Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:46 pm

Readability is the ease in which text can be read and understood. Various factors to measure readability have been used, such as "speed of perception," "perceptibility at a distance," "perceptibility in peripheral vision," "visibility," "the reflex blink technique," "rate of work" (e.g., speed of reading), "eye movements," and "fatigue in reading."

Readability is distinguished from legibility which is a measure of how easily individual letters or characters can be distinguished from each other. Readability can determine the ease in which computer program code can be read by humans, such as through embedded documentation.

Easy reading helps learning and enjoyment. So what we write should be easy to understand.

While many writers and speakers since ancient times have used plain language, in the 20th century there was much more focus on reading ease. Much of the research has focused on matching texts to people's reading skills. This has used many successful formulas: in research, government, teaching, publishing, the army, doctors, and business. Many people, and in many languages, have been helped by this. By the year 2000, there were over 1,000 studies on readability formulas in professional journals about their validity and merit.The study of reading is not just in teaching. Research has shown that much money is wasted by companies in making texts hard for the average reader to read.

There are summaries of this research, see the links in this section. Many text books on reading include pointers to readability.
Vincent Law
Vincent Law
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