Articles on: Readability Scoring

Why can’t I exclude a certain word from my readability score?

Sometimes it can be difficult to achieve excellent readability if your text requires the use of a long word repeatedly. In readability, any word (including 'readability', ironically) which is over four syllables is considered tricky on the eye. 

We know your pain. If your brand name is flagging as a spelling / grammar error, you can add it to your custom dictionary so that this doesn't happen again. However, you can't tweak your readability score by excluding the word from readability analysis. 

Because here’s the thing - if you can exclude words from your readability score, where does the customization end? Before you know it, you’ve written Finnegan’s Wake and tweaked the tool to your liking - suddenly, eighth-graders can read Joycean prose. We’re not convinced.  

We want to help you as much as possible to achieve your writing goals. But, to do that, we want to be the most reliable readability tool on the market. 

When we’re writing blogs, we’re still able to achieve at least a Readable grade ‘B’ for readability.

Why? Because even though we use the word ‘readability’ a lot, we take the other ingredients of readability into account. This one long word is just one part of the puzzle. 

If you exhaust all of our tips and you’re still finding it really tricky to improve your readability, we understand this can be a problem - particularly for technical or medical writers. If this is you, try altering your expectations. 

Your subject matter may be so technical that it’s not viable to make it readable for the general public. Maybe the general public isn’t your audience anyway - a Flesch Kincaid grade level between 8 and 10. 

Instead, try improving your Flesch Kincaid grade level or Readable letter grade by just one grade. You would be amazed at what a difference one grade makes.

Updated on: 07/04/2020

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