English is a language. Any language has its levels of readability.
Agreed :) But my point is that if one uses "scales" or "grades" or any other country or cultural ( in this case North American school system ) "specific" ways of speaking about the "levels" or readability ..
Readability Formula Grade Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 15.00 Gunning-Fog Score 18.20 Coleman-Liau Index 15.60 SMOG Index 12.90 Automated Readability Index 17.20 Average Grade Level 15.78
ie; I ( as a non US American ) have to go off this thread ( on an International forum, visited by many non English "mother tongue" speakers ) to find out what you are talking about..
Apparently ken_b ( I don't know where ken is based ? ) also had no idea what these "Readability Formula Grades" you mentioned were all about, and no idea whether a high or a low score was better or worse..I suspect many of the threads readers have had to search outside WebmasterWorld to find out, which means they left the thread ..would you send them away from your site ? a simple "lower score is better" or whatever, as a note to the post, would have prevented losing many of us, you did eventually explain in your 3rd post, by then I suspect you had lost many of us to the links in wikipedia :)..**Basically your initial post did exactly what it said one should not do ..
It defeats your stated object..your opening post was only "readable" ( because of using terms specific to your country and culture ) by those members who live in North America ..unless we went off site to find out what your references meant..sending us off site again in your post in reply to me ..
A listing of available reading level formulas, and different languages supported, with examples of how the formulas work.
Is, with respect, only digging the hole you began in your original post deeper..:)
What you call readability, and keeping one's website "readable" surely means not sending readers searching off site to find out what one is talking about :)..one would surely aim to keep them on site and only have them leave to visit either another page of the site , click a "buy" button, an affiliate link or click an ad ..
It would have been much simpler, in my opinion, to have said simply , "make sure that your sites can be read by the average 10 to 12 year old, if they are aimed at a general audience" and "not all of your visitors have English* as first language, bear that in mind when writing, and avoid using vocabulary and references which are specific to your own culture, if you have to use "jargon", explain it, simply, at the time"..
*If your site is not in English, that "guidance" still applies, just replace English with your target audiences language ..
**Always the way ..like when we post about checking spelling and grammar and then make spelling or grammatical mistakes in the post ..it's known as "Murphy's law" in many places..and I often make the same mistakes :)